The use of plastic polymers in food packaging causes serious environmental and health problems and as a result, natural biopolymers (NBPs) are being developed. Although NBPs have several shortcomings as a packaging material, these can be overcome with the help of nanotechnology. In this context, this review will report on the main findings about the effect of the integration of metal nanoparticles (MNPs) on the characteristics of NBPs. A systematic review was carried out using PRISMA methodology to select relevant studies from the last 5 years. According to the analysis performed, MNPs provide NBPs with a broad spectrum against bacteria, fungi and even viruses of interest. MNPs have also been shown to improve the physical, mechanical, optical, antioxidant and barrier characteristics of NBPs. MNPs are used at low concentrations (generally 0.5 to 5%) and this avoids their potential toxicity. MNPs are shown to be efficient materials to obtain bionanocomposites suitable for active food packaging. Studies focusing on the control of the antimicrobial effect of MNPs on desirable microorganisms are suggested. In addition, further studies on the evaluation of the potential toxicity of MNPs are needed to ensure food quality and safety.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Enviro Research Publishers.
- Food Packaging
- Metallic Nanoparticles