Title : Novel applications of radiation technology on the production of biodegradable packaging for the food industry
There is an increasing interest worldwide to reduce plastic pollution and part of the solution would be to replace food-packaging plastics with bioplastics. The packaging is likely the most important method for food preservation due to protects, preserves, while allows the product commercialization and distribution. The packaging’s characteristics depend on the food product that is desired to be protected. Today, different materials are employed as packaging materials, such as paper, cardboard, metal, glass and plastics, but this traditional preservation methods produces large quantities of urban solid wastes. To turn on to bioplastics it is especially important the employment of cellulose, starch, pectin and seaweed extract like alginate, carrageenan or agar, and plant-based proteins for the promotion of physical and environmental health. Particularly active packaging is a form of smart packaging, that employs technology that intentionally releases or absorbs compounds from the food or the headspace of food packaging, which extends the shelf life of products by stalling the degradative reactions of lipid oxidation, microbial growth, and moisture loss and gain better than traditional food packaging. Ionizing radiation technology is already applied industrially to induce radiation cross-linking to a great number of products. The interaction of ionizing radiation with biological matter results in the formation of very reactive species and induces molecular chain branching, crosslinking and molecular degradation or scissioning. Edible films and coating can be prepared based on natural materials such as polysaccharides or proteins and one of the proposed novel techniques is to use ionizing radiation technology for that purpose. Combination of ionizing radiation and bio-based active packaging will be a good approach to increase the preservation of the environment.