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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Microbial and Chemical Food Safety » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #374050

Research Project: Integration of Multiple Interventions to Enhance Microbial Safety, Quality, and Shelf-life of Foods

Location: Microbial and Chemical Food Safety

Title: The Roles of Green Polymer Materials in Active Packaging

item Jin, Zhonglin
item Liu, Linshu

Submitted to: Innovative Uses of Agricultural Products and Byproducts
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/11/2020
Publication Date: 7/11/2020
Citation: Jin, Z.T., Liu, L.S. 2020. The Roles of Green Polymer Materials in Active Packaging. Innovative Uses of Agricultural Products and Byproducts. In:ACS Symposium Series.Chapter 5.pp 83-107. 10.1021/bk-2020-1347.ch005.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Packaging plays a critical role in ensuring food safety and extending shelf life by preventing microbial contamination. However, conventional packaging cannot inactivate microorganisms that already exist in food before packaging or those that are contaminated during packaging (via package materials and package machines, etc.). Antimicrobial packaging systems incorporate antimicrobials into the packaging to prevent, inhibit, or reduce populations of foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms. Use of bio-derived and biodegradable materials (green polymers) for food packaging with antimicrobial functionality is an effective approach to enhance food safety with minimal impact on the environment and sustainability. This book chapter covers a series of collaborative studies conducted within USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) research units and between ARS and multiple research institutes in the development of innovative packaging materials that were incorporated with bioactive compounds in biopolymers through coating, extrusion, electrospinning, and electro-grafting. The resultant materials were evaluated in bacterial growth media and various types of food. These materials actively suppress or inhibit the growth of foodborne pathogens, spoilage bacteria and fungi. In addition, the developed packaging materials possess desirable mechanical properties. This research demonstrates the effective approach to improving food safety and shelf life while enhancing environmental protection.