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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops and their Co-Products

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Nanocomposites in food packaging – A review

item Cordeiro De Azeredo, Henriette
item Mattoso, Luiz
item Mchugh, Tara

Submitted to: Intech
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2010
Publication Date: 3/30/2011
Publication URL:
Citation: Cordeiro De Azeredo, H.M., Mattoso, L.H., Mchugh, T.H. 2011. Nanocomposites in food packaging – A review. In: Reddy, B., editor. Advances in Diverse Industrial Applications of Nanocomposites. Shanghai, China: InTech. p. 1-22.

Interpretive Summary: This chapter reviews research related to the application of nanoscience to food packaging. Studies performed by researchers around the world are summarized. Very small nanostructures (less than 100 nm in size) can be incorporated into food packaging to improve the quality and safety of the foods. They can also improve the strength and barrier properties of the packages to oxygen and water. In addition, nanosensors can be used in food packages to tell consumers whether food is fresh and safe or not.

Technical Abstract: A nanocomposite is a multiphase material derived from the combination of two or more components, including a matrix (continuous phase) and a discontinuous nano-dimensional phase with at least one nano-sized dimension (i.e. less than 100 nm). The main types of nanostructures are presented in this chapter according to their primary functions/applications in food packaging systems. Nano-phases frequently have a structural role, acting as reinforcements to improve mechanical properties of the matrix. They may also improve barrier properties in food packages. In addition they can provide “smart” or active properties such as antimicrobial activity, oxygen scavenging, and/or nanosensing. Nanosensors can provide information regarding the safety and/or stability of the product.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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