Pullulan: A Suitable Biopolymer for Antimicrobial Food Packaging Applications

V. Trinetta, C. N. Cutter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

42 Scopus citations


The increasing demand for biobased, disposable, biodegradable, and recyclable materials provides the food industry with the opportunity to invest in alternative solutions, such as biopolymers. Of the available biopolymers, pullulan shows excellent high film formability, considerable mechanical strength, the ability to form thin and flexible layers, and unique antimicrobial activity. This chapter begins with an overview of the properties of the extracellular polysaccharide, pullulan. We also will discuss the unique characteristics that make pullulan an excellent alternative to petroleum-based polymers for antimicrobial food packaging solutions. We will provide a summary of the most significant studies conducted with pullulan in foods, as well as published research that addresses ways to improve the film characteristics. We will address recent case studies and commercial applications of antimicrobial pullulan edible coatings and films on fresh and minimally processed produce, fresh meat and poultry products, as well as further processed (including ready-to-eat) meat products, along with trends, opportunities, and challenges for the application of pullulan in the food packaging industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAntimicrobial Food Packaging
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780128007235
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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