Polymeric Materials for Food Engineering

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020) | Viewed by 35077

Special Issue Editor


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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food polymers are classified into three main categories, namely, plant-based polymers (starch, dietary fibre, and cereal protein), animal-based polymers (mainly proteins), and microorganism-based polymers that can be used in food systems. Food polymer materials are very popular for their ease of processing, and for their adjustable properties to meet specific needs by modifying the molecular weight, by varying the atomic composition, or by involving the covalent and non-covalent interactions. Regarding the food engineering field, intelligent packaging is one of the most debated applications of polymer materials, considering their possible formulation to better preserve food quality by prolonging the shelf-life. Also, they may serve as an aid in food processing and improve food characteristics like attractiveness, with an important role in food structure and food functional properties.

This Special Issue of the Polymers journal aims to increase the knowledge in the area of polymer materials in food engineering and their applications, providing a great opportunity for researchers to share their related studies. This Special Issue is intended to provide a forum for original research articles, as well as critical reviews on the current advances in the development of food engineering polymers, including their design, processing, characterization, and nano-/micro-structures; the relationship between the structures and functionality of food polymers; new technologies related to food packaging and characterization; and prospective applications.

Prof. Dan Cristian Vodnar
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • biopolymers
  • functionalized polymers
  • intelligent packaging
  • alginate

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 1347 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Esterification of Starch with a Mixture of Carboxylic Acids from Yarrowia lipolitica Fermentation Broth on Its Selected Properties
by Ewa Zdybel, Tomasz Zięba, Ewa Tomaszewska-Ciosk and Waldemar Rymowicz
Polymers 2020, 12(6), 1383; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061383 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2474
Abstract
Potato starch was esterified with carboxylic acids contained in the fermentation broth from Yarrowia lipolitica yeast production. Various acid concentrations and various roasting temperatures were used to determine effects of process conditions on ester properties, including the number of acid residues attached to [...] Read more.
Potato starch was esterified with carboxylic acids contained in the fermentation broth from Yarrowia lipolitica yeast production. Various acid concentrations and various roasting temperatures were used to determine effects of process conditions on ester properties, including the number of acid residues attached to starch chains, starch susceptibility to amylolysis, and thermal characteristics of starch phase transitions. Study results demonstrated the effect of both the composition and the dose of the fermentation broth and of roasting temperature of starch on the number of acid residues attached to starch chains. Citric acid was more susceptible to esterification with starch (DS = 5.65%) compared to the α-ketoglutaric acid (DS = 0.12%). In the case of the latter, a higher degree of substitution was determined in the esters produced at higher roasting temperatures. The lowest digestibility (RS = 20%) was demonstrated for the starch esters with the highest degree of substitution with citric acid, whereas all starch esters showed decreased values of the thermal characteristics of pasting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Food Engineering)
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19 pages, 4136 KiB  
Article
Poly(vinyl alcohol)-Based Biofilms Plasticized with Polyols and Colored with Pigments Extracted from Tomato By-Products
by Laura Mitrea, Lavinia-Florina Călinoiu, Gheorghe-Adrian Martău, Katalin Szabo, Bernadette-Emoke Teleky, Vlad Mureșan, Alexandru-Vasile Rusu, Claudia-Terezia Socol and Dan-Cristian Vodnar
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030532 - 2 Mar 2020
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 6877
Abstract
In the current work the physicochemical features of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVOH) biofilms, enriched with eco-friendly polyols and with carotenoid-rich extracts, were investigated. The polyols, such as glycerol (Gly), 1,3-propanediol (PDO), and 2,3-butanediol (BDO) were used as plasticizers and the tomato-based pigments (TP) as [...] Read more.
In the current work the physicochemical features of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVOH) biofilms, enriched with eco-friendly polyols and with carotenoid-rich extracts, were investigated. The polyols, such as glycerol (Gly), 1,3-propanediol (PDO), and 2,3-butanediol (BDO) were used as plasticizers and the tomato-based pigments (TP) as coloring agents. The outcomes showed that β-carotene was the major carotenoid in the TP (1.605 mg β-carotene/100 DW), which imprinted the orange color to the biofilms. The flow behavior indicated that with the increase of shear rate the viscosity of biofilm solutions also increased until 50 s−1, reaching values at 37 °C of approximately 9 ± 0.5 mPa·s for PVOH, and for PVOH+TP, 14 ± 0.5 mPa·s in combination with Gly, PDO, and BDO. The weight, thickness, and density of samples increased with the addition of polyols and TP. Biofilms with TP had lower transparency values compared with control biofilms (without vegetal pigments). The presence of BDO, especially, but also of PDO and glycerol in biofilms created strong bonds within the PVOH matrix by increasing their mechanical resistance. The novelty of the present approach relies on the replacement of synthetic colorants with natural pigments derived from agro-industrial by-products, and the use of a combination of biodegradable polymers and polyols, as an integrated solution for packaging application in the bioplastic industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Food Engineering)
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Review

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15 pages, 854 KiB  
Review
Edible Films and Coatings Functionalization by Probiotic Incorporation: A Review
by Oana L. Pop, Carmen R. Pop, Marie Dufrechou, Dan C. Vodnar, Sonia A. Socaci, Francisc V. Dulf, Fabio Minervini and Ramona Suharoschi
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010012 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 60 | Viewed by 8259
Abstract
Edible coatings and films represent an alternative packaging system characterized by being more environment- and customer-friendly than conventional systems of food protection. Research on edible coatings requires multidisciplinary efforts by food engineers, biopolymer specialists and biotechnologists. Entrapment of probiotic cells in edible films [...] Read more.
Edible coatings and films represent an alternative packaging system characterized by being more environment- and customer-friendly than conventional systems of food protection. Research on edible coatings requires multidisciplinary efforts by food engineers, biopolymer specialists and biotechnologists. Entrapment of probiotic cells in edible films or coatings is a favorable approach that may overcome the limitations linked with the use of bioactive compounds in or on food products. The recognition of several health advantages associated with probiotics ingestion is worldwide accepted and well documented. Nevertheless, due to the low stability of probiotics in the food processing steps, in the food matrices and in the gastrointestinal tract, this kind of encapsulation is of high relevance. The development of new and functional edible packaging may lead to new functional foods. This review will focus on edible coatings and films containing probiotic cells (obtaining techniques, materials, characteristics, and applications) and the innovative entrapment techniques use to obtained such packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Food Engineering)
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28 pages, 2209 KiB  
Review
The Use of Chitosan, Alginate, and Pectin in the Biomedical and Food Sector—Biocompatibility, Bioadhesiveness, and Biodegradability
by Gheorghe Adrian Martău, Mihaela Mihai and Dan Cristian Vodnar
Polymers 2019, 11(11), 1837; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11111837 - 8 Nov 2019
Cited by 354 | Viewed by 16616
Abstract
Nowadays, biopolymers as intelligent and active biopolymer systems in the food and pharmaceutical industry are of considerable interest in their use. With this association in view, biopolymers such as chitosan, alginate, pectin, cellulose, agarose, guar gum, agar, carrageenan, gelatin, dextran, xanthan, and other [...] Read more.
Nowadays, biopolymers as intelligent and active biopolymer systems in the food and pharmaceutical industry are of considerable interest in their use. With this association in view, biopolymers such as chitosan, alginate, pectin, cellulose, agarose, guar gum, agar, carrageenan, gelatin, dextran, xanthan, and other polymers have received significant attention in recent years due to their abundance and natural availability. Furthermore, their versatile properties such as non-toxicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and flexibility offer significant functionalities with multifunctional applications. The purpose of this review is to summarize the most compatible biopolymers such as chitosan, alginate, and pectin, which are used for application in food, biotechnological processes, and biomedical applications. Therefore, chitosan, alginate, and pectin are biopolymers (used in the food industry as a stabilizing, thickening, capsular agent, and packaging) with great potential for future developments. Moreover, this review highlights their characteristics, with a particular focus on their potential for biocompatibility, biodegradability, bioadhesiveness, and their limitations on certain factors in the human gastrointestinal tract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Food Engineering)
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