Recent Trends in the Use of Pectin from Agro-Waste Residues as a Natural-Based Biopolymer for Food Packaging Applications
Regardless of the considerable progress in properties and versatility of synthetic polymers, their low biodegradability and lack of environmentally-friendly character remains a critical issue. Pectin is a natural-based polysaccharide contained in the cell walls of many plants allowing their growth and cell extension. This biopolymer can be extracted from plants and isolated as a bioplastic material with different applications, including food packaging. This review aims to present the latest research results regarding pectin, including the structure, different types, natural sources and potential use in several sectors, particularly in food packaging materials. Many researchers are currently working on a multitude of food and beverage industry applications related to pectin as well as combinations with other biopolymers to improve some key properties, such as antioxidant/antimicrobial performance and flexibility to obtain films. All these advances are covered in this review.