Nanocomposite films and coatings using inorganic nanobuilding blocks (NBB): current applications and future opportunities in the food packaging sector
The aim of this review is to provide an in-depth overview on the use of inorganic nano-sized entities for the generation of nanocomposite materials in the form of films and coatings for food packaging applications. According to recent trends toward “green” strategies, special focus has been dedicated to the development of nanocomposite coatings obtained using biopolymers as the main polymer matrix. After a first introductive part, the discussion has been addressed to the use of inorganic fillers, metals and metal-oxides, zeolites, and graphene. For each class of filler, a first ‘in-depth’ description of the most relevant physicochemical properties for the food packaging sector has been followed by case-by-case references to recent developments and envisaged implementations. The technical aspects that may be crucial in the design and end use of (bio)nanocomposite coatings have been covered in the last part of this work, which also includes an updated list of current applications on nano-sized inorganic fillers in the food packaging field.