Researchers from Finland say replacements to starch as a base material for biodegradable packaging could be found in agricultural and forestry sidestreams such as cereal husks and pulp.
In an article in Trends in Food Science & Technology, they say xylans and mannans, plant cell wall polysaccharides, have great potential in packaging applications and that it would be beneficial to use them.
— They are plant-derived and biodegradable, co-author of the study, Kirsi Mikkonen from the Department of Food and Environmental Sciences at the University of Helsinki, told website FoodProdutionDaily.com.
— They could potentially be obtained in large quantities from agricultural and forestry sidestreams, meaning that they are both sustainable and economical.She added that they were safe for food applications and had potential as oxygen and grease barriers.
She added that they were safe for food applications and had potential as oxygen and grease barriers.
Although several patents have already been filed for the use of xylans and mannans in packaging, it is not yet clear how these materials could be processed using existing technology.
But the team says research in this field is growing, motivated in part by the need to use renewable resources more efficiently.