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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2004;44(4):223-37.

Biopolymer-based antimicrobial packaging: a review.

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  • 1Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223-1797, USA.


The term antimicrobialpackaging encompasses any packaging technique(s) used to control microbial growth in a food product. These include packaging materials and edible films and coatings that contain antimicrobial agents and also techniques that modify the atmosphere within the package. In recent years, antimicrobial packaging has attracted much attention from the food industry because of the increase in consumer demand for minimally processed, preservative-free products. Reflecting this demand, the preservative agents must be applied to packaging in such away that only low levels of preservatives come into contact with the food. The film or coating technique is considered to be more effective, although more complicated to apply. New antimicrobial packaging materials are continually being developed. Many of them exploit natural agents to control common food-borne microorganisms. Current trends suggest that, in due course, packaging will generally incorporate antimicrobial agents, and the sealing systems will continue to improve. The focus of packaging in the past has been on the appearance, size, and integrity of the package. A greater emphasis on safety features associated with the addition of antimicrobial agents is perhaps the next area for development in packaging technology.

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