Protein‐based films and coatings for food industry applications
Food packaging is an area of interest not just for food producers or food marketing, but also for consumers who are more and more aware about the fact that food packaging has a great impact on food product quality and on the environment. The most used materials for the packaging of food are plastic, glass, metal, and paper. Still, over time edible films have become widely used for a variety of different products and different food categories such as meat products, vegetables, or dairy products. For example, proteins are excellent materials used for obtaining edible or nonedible coatings and films. The scope of this review is to overview the literature on protein utilization in food packages and edible packages, their functionalization, antioxidant, antimicrobial and antifungal activities, and economic perspectives. Different vegetable (corn, soy, mung bean, pea, grass pea, wild and Pasankalla quinoa, bitter vetch) and animal (whey, casein, keratin, collagen, gelatin, surimi, egg white) protein sources are discussed. Mechanical properties, thickness, moisture content, water vapor permeability, sensorial properties, and suitability for the environment also have a significant impact on protein‐based packages utilization.