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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #392394

Research Project: Development of Novel Cottonseed Products and Processes

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Superhydrophobic systems in food science and technology: Concepts, trends, challenges, and technological innovations

item FROTA, MARYANA - Universidade Federal Do Ceara (UFC)
item MATTOS, ADRIANO - Embrapa
item MIRANDA, KELVI - Universidade Federal Do Ceara (UFC)
item Cheng, Huai
item Biswas, Atanu
item BASTOS, MARIA - Embrapa

Submitted to: Applied Food Research
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/2/2022
Publication Date: 8/31/2022
Citation: Frota, M.M., Mattos, A.L.A., Miranda, K.W.E., Cheng, H.N., Biswas, A., Bastos, M.S.R. 2022. Superhydrophobic systems in food science and technology: Concepts, trends, challenges, and technological innovations. Applied Food Research. 2(2). Article 100213.

Interpretive Summary: Packaging plays an important role in food handling, storage, and safety. As food and agricultural products are being transported over longer distances and kept longer on the shelves, innovative approaches to improve food packaging are highly desirable. One emerging technology is superhydrophobicity, where the inside surface of a package is modified in such a way as to make it strongly water repellent. Such a surface can potentially reduce food waste, microbial growth, and fogging within the package. This article provides a review of the current status of this technology, including the fundamental principles, methods for achieving a strongly water repellent surface, applications, and challenges in commercialization. To researchers and manufacturers of food packaging, this review provides a timely status report of this technology. For people interested in surface science and technology, this article can serve as a useful and informative reference.

Technical Abstract: The natural phenomenon of superhydrophobicity that occurs in plants and animals has been a current topic for research and development with the goal of widening its applications. However, a more complete understanding of such surfaces is necessary to assess the effects of morphology, chemical structure, and surface roughness. In the food sector, such investigations tend to be at an early stage, although superhydrophobic surfaces are known to hold promise for food packaging, processing, safety, and preservation. A review of the phenomenon of superhydrophobicity, the parameters to be evaluated for producing superhydrophobic surfaces, and the main impact factors is presented. A current research thrust in food packaging entails the application of superhydrophobic surfaces to reduce food waste. The main problems, technological challenges, future trends and directions for this application are also discussed in this work.