CHAPTER 7: Protein-based Bioplastics for Food and Pharmaceutical Packaging
Published:03 Jun 2021
G. Ohemeng-Boahen, D. D. Sewu, C. Acquah, and M. A. Dubé, in Food Proteins and Peptides: Emerging Biofunctions, Food and Biomaterial Applications, ed. C. C. Udenigwe, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021, pp. 173-206.
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Protein-based bioplastics have attracted great interest owing to their sustainable sources, biodegradability and safe use for food and pharmaceutical applications. Sources of dietary proteins are ubiquitous and include, but are not limited to, microalgae, legumes, pulses, cereals, insects and dairy products. Dietary proteins have structural features that confer unique properties and functionalities in the formation of biodegradable bioplastics. Bioplastics can be formed from dietary proteins through two main techniques, wet processing and dry processing. Dietary proteins can be modified with suitable chemistries and additives to enhance their features such as aesthetics and mechanical, thermal, chemical and antimicrobial properties. Further, the properties of bioplastics can be altered based on processing parameters such as pH, temperature, concentration, type of protein precursors and plasticizers. In this chapter, a comprehensive discussion of dietary proteins and their physicochemical properties as suitable alternatives for the formation of bioplastics is presented. The potential of using protein bioplastics as edible and active packages is also discussed.