Nowadays, the food supply chains have become complex, massive and international, and for this reason the quality of the food that we consume depends equally on its nutritional value and on its efficient packaging. Indeed, food packaging ensures elongated protection from contamination, safe transportation and provides information to the consumers. Unfortunately, food packaging is producing huge amounts of waste, especially non-biodegradable plastic. This research line is dedicated on the development of novel materials that can be used as containers or packaging solutions able to ensure optimized protection to food from the external environment, giving at the same time special emphasis on their sustainability. Sustainable and biodegradable materials, as pure or even recycled cellulose, biodegradable and natural polymers, are modified in order to become suitable for protective, safe, and environmentally zero-impact food packaging.
Moreover, we incorporate to our packaging materials antioxidant and/or hydrophobic molecules of natural origin (i.e., curcumin, tomato cuticle) that can prolong the shelf-life of the packaged foods.
At the same time, smart indicators that can give immediate information on the conditions of the packaged food are developed in the group in order to obtain intelligent food packaging systems.