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Trends in Food Science & Technology
Vol.101, 2020, Pages 106-121

Development of active food packaging via incorporation of biopolymeric nanocarriers containing essential oils

AbdurRehmana, Seid Mahdi Jafarib, Rana Muhammad Aadilc, Elham Assadpourb, Muhammad Atif Randhawad, Shahid Mahmooda

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Jiangsu Wuxi, 214122, China



Essential oils (EOs) have received much attention owing to their remarkable biological activities and health promoting benefits, but they are easily oxidized and chemically unstable as well as having a low resistance to environmental stresses like light, oxygen, and temperature. Furthermore, their physiochemical properties may limit their application as active compounds in food and pharmaceuticals due to some restrictions such as less solubility, poor bioavailability and quick release.

Scope and approach

Nanoencapsulation techniques can be used for entrapment of essential oils to uphold their original characteristics during processing and to improve their physiochemical properties as well as to enhance their health promoting effects. The prominence of nanocarriers in the arena of nanotechnology cannot be denied. The present article focuses specifically on loading of EOs into biopolymeric nanocarriers, their functionalities and innovative developments in preparation approaches. Additionally, the present state of the art loading of numerous essential oils via biopolymeric nanocarriers have been enclosed and tabulated well.

Key findings and conclusions

This review highlights the application of EO-loaded biopolymeric nanocarriers into active food packaging being promising antimicrobial and antioxidant agents which have shown practical results in order to retard the oxidation phenomenon as well as microbial growth in different food products. Further studies are needed for exploring the application of EO-loaded biopolymeric nanocarriers into active food packaging to assure their commercial exploitation.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords: Essential oils, Biopolymers, Nanocarriers, Delivery, Active food packaging, Antimicrobial, Shelf life

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