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Process development of biodegradable chitosanbased films and their suitability for food packaging

Srinivasa, P. C. (2004) Process development of biodegradable chitosanbased films and their suitability for food packaging. Masters thesis, University of Mysore.


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Plastics have become part and parcel of our everyday life and the plastic industry has emerged as a rapidly expanding industry in the past several decades. Approximately 40,000,000 tones of plastic packaging is used annually world wide, and a majority of this is put to one time use and is discarded later. This contributes to an appreciable amount of total waste stream (around 20% volume world wide) and in India its contribution is approximately 3 million tones. The treatment of waste plastics has become a serious problem because of the difficulty of ensuring reclaimed land and burning by incineration. The industry is now facing ecological and legislative issues for handling plastic raw materials and finished products. Their total non-biodegradability as well as an increased environmental consciousness by the consumers and Government bodies has paved the way to look for alternate approaches. Also due care is necessary not to deteriorate the environment by using non-biodegradable and non-recyclable materials. This development has for the best part led to focusing on alternative packaging films derived from natural biopolymers which are replenishable and completely biodegradable under a variety of ecological systems. Biopolymer films are generally prepared by using biological materials such as polysaccharides, proteins and their derivatives, which are naturally and abundantly available. Natural biopolymeric films have the advantage over synthetic biopolymers since they are totally biodegradable and are derived from renewable raw materials. They can be used effectively as an alternative to synthetic plastics. Biopolymeric films have also desirable overall mechanical and barrier properties. Food packaging is an important discipline of food technology concerned with the protection and preservation of all types of foods from oxidative and microbial spoilage. The petroleum based synthetic thermoplastic materials, currently being used extensively, may gradually loose importance as packaging materials because of waste disposal and nonbiodegradable problems, and as a consequence threat to the environment. As an alternative, interest in the study of biodegradable packaging films has increased steadily during the past decade. Although it is not feasible to entirely replace synthetic plastic packaging films, the biodegradable films do have potential to reduce and replace plastic packaging films in some specific applications. A clean pollution free environment is the need of the day. Polysaccharides such as cellulose and starch (derived from agricultural resources), chitin/chitosan (derived from marine food processing wastes) and pullulan (from microbial sources), either in their native or modified forms, as well as their blends have the ability to form films. Bioplastic consisting of synthetic monomeric or polymeric materials, graft copolymerized with natural biomolecule are also shown to be useful as biodegradable packaging materials. Use of certain additives such as plasticizers, antioxidants and antimicrobials will enhance their functional value to a great extent. Use of chitosan and its derivatives in such applications has the additional advantages of being biocompatible and antimicrobial.Chitin, a naturally occurring and abundantly available polysaccharide obtained form crustacean wastes, consists mainly of β (1-4)-linked-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-D-glucose units. Chitosan is obtained from chitin by Ndeacetylation using strong alkali. The cationic property of chitosan offers an opportunity to take advantage of its electrostatic interaction properties. Chitosan films are used in the separation of ethanol from water by evaporation, water purification, and controlled release of pharmaceuticals,but has been reported to have limited application as far as packaging film is concerned. Therefore, it was felt desirable that a study be initiated to evaluate the properties of chitosan film prepared under different drying conditions and to modify the films by incorporating various additives and to look for their application to storage studies of fruits, vegetables, dairy and bakery products, and also to study their antimicrobial properties.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biodegradation Chitosan Food packaging Plastics biodegradable plastic films
Subjects: 600 Technology > 05 Chemical engineering > 08 Plastics Technology
Divisions: Dept. of Biochemistry
Depositing User: Food Sci. & Technol. Information Services
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2005
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2018 11:39
URI: http://ir.cftri.com/id/eprint/279

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