A Review of Poly(Lactic Acid)-Based Materials for Antimicrobial Packaging

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Abstract

Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) can be synthesized from renewable bio-derived monomers and, as such, it is an alternative to conventional petroleum-based polymers. Since PLA is a relatively new polymer, much effort has been directed toward its development in order to make it an acceptable and effective option to the more traditional petroleum-based polymers. Commercially, PLA has received considerable attention in food packaging applications with a focus on films and coatings that are suitable for short shelf life and ready-to-eat food products. The potential for PLA to be used in active packaging has also been recognized by a number of researchers. This review focuses on the use of PLA in antimicrobial systems for food packaging applications and explores the engineering characteristics and antimicrobial activity of PLA films incorporated and/or coated with antimicrobial agents.

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