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Food Structure
Volume 28, 2021, 100188

Aerogels as porous structures for food applications: Smart ingredients and novel packaging materials

Lara Manzoccoa, Kirsi S. Mikkonenb,c, Carlos A. García-Gonzálezd

Dipartimento di Scienze AgroAlimentari, Ambientali e Animali, Università di Udine, Via Sondrio 2/A, Udine, I-33100, Italy.

Abstract

Aerogels are nanostructured materials with low density, high surface area (>150 m2/g) and open porosity (typically 95–99.99 %). They are obtained by solvent removal from gels while preserving network structure. Hydrogels, organogels and even tissues can be optimal sources of aerogels with limitless customization of format and texture. Aerogels might be used for a range of advanced food applications: from smart ingredients controlling nutrient release to delivery systems for active compounds; from fat substitutes to novel biodegradable and intelligent food packaging materials. This review article summarizes recent developments of aerogels in food applications, analyzing research challenges and prospecting future markets.

Keywords: Aerogel, Nanostructures, Delivery systems, Oleogel, Active packaging.

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