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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

On the Use of PLA-PHB Blends for Sustainable Food Packaging Applications

Institute of Polymer Science and Technology (ICTP-CSIC), Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Instituto de Tecnología de Materiales, Universitat Politècnica de València, 03801 Alcoy-Alicante, Spain
Departamento de Ciencia de Alimentos y Biotecnología, Facultad de Ingeniería Química y Agroindustria, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito 170517, Ecuador
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2017, 10(9), 1008;
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biobased Polymers for Packaging Applications)
Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is the most used biopolymer for food packaging applications. Several strategies have been made to improve PLA properties for extending its applications in the packaging field. Melt blending approaches are gaining considerable interest since they are easy, cost-effective and readily available processing technologies at the industrial level. With a similar melting temperature and high crystallinity, poly(hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) represents a good candidate to blend with PLA. The ability of PHB to act as a nucleating agent for PLA improves its mechanical resistance and barrier performance. With the dual objective to improve PLAPHB processing performance and to obtain stretchable materials, plasticizers are frequently added. Current trends to enhance PLA-PHB miscibility are focused on the development of composite and nanocomposites. PLA-PHB blends are also interesting for the controlled release of active compounds in the development of active packaging systems. This review explains the most relevant processing aspects of PLA-PHB based blends such as the influence of polymers molecular weight, the PLA-PHB composition as well as the thermal stability. It also summarizes the recent developments in PLA-PHB formulations with an emphasis on their performance with interest in the sustainable food packaging field. PLA-PHB blends shows highly promising perspectives for the replacement of traditional petrochemical based polymers currently used for food packaging. View Full-Text
Keywords: food packaging; biopolymers; biodegradable; poly(lactic acid); poly(hydroxybutyrate); blends food packaging; biopolymers; biodegradable; poly(lactic acid); poly(hydroxybutyrate); blends
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Arrieta, M.P.; Samper, M.D.; Aldas, M.; López, J. On the Use of PLA-PHB Blends for Sustainable Food Packaging Applications. Materials 2017, 10, 1008.

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