Algal Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals: Benefits, Opportunities, and Challenges

Current Applications of Seaweed-Based Polysaccharides in Edible Packaging

Author(s): Sandunika Senarathna, Indira Wickramasinghe* and Seneviratne Navaratne

Pp: 447-464 (18)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815051872122010022

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The use of biopolymers instead of synthetic polymers for food packaging has become a recent trend since it successfully solves the global issue of plastic waste due to their biodegradability, biocompatibility and renewability. Moreover, edible packaging has gained the attention of the current research world. Thus, the natural polymer sources applicable in forming edible packaging materials, such as polysaccharides, proteins and lipids, are studied. Seaweed, referred to as marine macroalgae, is a rich source of polysaccharides. Different types of polysaccharides can be identified in the three main varieties of seaweed, carrageenan and agar in red algae, alginate, laminaran and fucoidan in brown algae, while ulvan is the major polysaccharide in green algae. The film-forming properties of these seaweed-based polysaccharides are enhanced due to their colloidal nature; meanwhile, the abundance and the low cost make them more applicable in edible packaging. Several modifications were carried out to achieve packaging materials with better mechanical and barrier properties. Hence, this chapter discusses the current applications of seaweed-based polysaccharides in edible packaging with improved properties in different sections such as fruits, vegetables and meat industries by analyzing recent research findings.

Keywords: Agar, Alginate, Applications of Seaweed, Biodegradability, Biopolymers, Brown Algae, Carrageenan, Edible Coating, Edible Film, Edible Packaging, Film Properties, Fucoidan, Green Algae, Laminaran, Recent Studies on Edible Packaging, Red Algae, Renewability, Seaweed-Based Packaging, Seaweed-Based Polysaccharides, Ulvan.

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