Background: The packaging industry is one of the greatest sources of plastic waste pollution worldwide. The continuously growing use of single-use food containers or wrappers along with the mismanagement of plastic waste disposal are major environmental and health threats. To tackle this problem, the scientific community has engaged in growing efforts to develop more sustainable packaging materials from renewable, safe, and abundant sources. Tannins are part of these new packaging developments as attractive natural polyphenolic substances with valuable properties for food packaging applications. Scope and approach: In this review, we address challenges and opportunities related to tannin-containing food biopackaging with active properties for food preservation. We present a basic overview of tannins’ structure and their incorporation into biodegradable matrices as structural components or functional additives. Then, the role of tannins as modulators of the physical properties and functionality of biodegradable polymers for food packaging purposes is addressed. Key findings and conclusions: At the core of our contribution, we present the most recent advances in multifunctional packaging based on tannin-containing biodegradable polymers. Tannins confer antioxidant, antimicrobial and UV protection capacity, and improve the mechanical and barrier properties of biodegradable materials. Therefore, multifunctional systems can be developed for innovative applications in food packaging and active food preservation. Finally, our opinion on future research needs and considerations related to tannin-containing biopackaging is stated.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus