Polymers for Food Applications: News

  • Tomy J. GutiérrezEmail author


Polymers usually are found every day in a myriad of applications, but special importance has the polymers for food applications. In particular, edible polymers are of great importance for human subsistence. Edible polymers from the nutritional point of view have been classified as carbohydrates, proteins, fiber and lipids, i.e. they are considered as macronutrients. The study of edible polymers still booming because of the great demand for healthier and more convenient foods, as well as the development of new food products with better sensory properties, which may have a prolonged shelf life. Many edible polymers being modified have allowed the development of functional or medical foods. Obtaining new products from modified edible polymers has also led to the manufacture of more stable foods, and even that can be administered to people with special dietary regimens such as celiac, phenylketonuric, diabetic, lactose intolerant, among others. The edible polymers have had a positive impact on different sectors of the food industry, from food packaging to the detection of toxic food substances. The edible polymers in essence lead to the production of edible films and membranes, foamed foods, snack, micro- and nanoencapsulated, hydrogels, prebiotics and oligomers, as well as food colloids and emulsions. More recently, edible polymers have also given way to the development of printed and electrospinned foods. This chapter aims to be preamble to the study and analysis of polymers for food applications that will be addressed in the course of this book, which has the contribution of important researchers with extensive experience, which in some cases are editors of major international journals in the field of food science and technology.


Carbohydrate polymers Edible polymers Food hydrocolloids Polysaccharide Proteins 



The authors would like to thank the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) (Postdoctoral fellowship internal PDTS-Resolution 2417), Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMdP) for financial support, and Dr. Mirian Carmona-Rodríguez.

Conflicts of Interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.


  1. Álvarez K, Famá L, Gutiérrez TJ (2017) Physicochemical, antimicrobial and mechanical properties of thermoplastic materials based on biopolymers with application in the food industry. In: Masuelli M, Renard D (eds) Advances in physicochemical properties of biopolymers: Part 1. Bentham Science, Sharjah. EE.UU. ISBN: 978-1-68108-454-1. eISBN: 978-1-68108-453-4, pp 358–400. Scholar
  2. Bracone M, Merino D, González J, Alvarez VA, Gutiérrez TJ (2016) Nanopackaging from natural fillers and biopolymers for the development of active and intelligent films. In: Ikram S, Ahmed S (eds) Natural polymers: derivatives, blends and composites. Nova Science, New York. EE.UU. ISBN: 978-1-63485-831-1, pp 119–155Google Scholar
  3. Gutiérrez TJ (2017a) Chitosan applications for the food industry. In: Ahmed S, Ikram S (eds) Chitosan: derivatives, composites and applications. WILEY-Scrivener, Beverly, MA. EE.UU. ISBN: 978-1-119-36350-7, pp 183–232. Scholar
  4. Gutiérrez TJ (2017b) Surface and nutraceutical properties of edible films made from starchy sources with and without added blackberry pulp. Carbohydr Polym 165:169–179. Scholar
  5. Gutiérrez TJ (2017c) Effects of exposure to pulsed light on molecular aspects of edible films made from cassava and taro starch. Innov Food Sci Emerg Technol 41:387–396. Scholar
  6. Gutiérrez TJ (2018a) Processing nano- and microcapsules for industrial applications. In: Hussain CM (ed) Handbook of nanomaterials for industrial applications. Elsevier, Amsterdam EE.UU. pp 989-1011. ISBN: 978-0-12-813351-4.
  7. Gutiérrez TJ (2018b) Active and intelligent films made from starchy sources/blackberry pulp. J Polym Environ 26:2374–2391. Scholar
  8. Gutiérrez TJ (2018c) Characterization and in vitro digestibility of non-conventional starches from Guinea arrowroot and La Armuña lentils as potential food sources for special diet regimens. Starch-Stärke 70(1–2).
  9. Gutiérrez TJ (2018d) Biodegradability and compostability of food nanopackaging materials. In: Cirillo G, Kozlowski MA, Spizzirri UG (eds) Composite materials for food packaging. WILEY-Scrivener, Beverly, MA. EE.UU. ISBN: 978-1-119-16020-5, pp 269–296.
  10. Gutiérrez TJ, Álvarez K (2016) Physico-chemical properties and in vitro digestibility of edible films made from plantain flour with added Aloe vera gel. J Funct Foods 26:750–762. Scholar
  11. Gutiérrez TJ, Álvarez K (2017) Biopolymers as microencapsulation materials in the food industry. In: Masuelli M, Renard D (eds) Advances in physicochemical properties of biopolymers: Part 2. Bentham Science, Sharjah. EE.UU. ISBN: 978-1-68108-545-6. eISBN: 978-1-68108-544-9, pp 296–322. Scholar
  12. Gutiérrez TJ, Alvarez VA (2017a) Properties of native and oxidized corn starch/polystyrene blends under conditions of reactive extrusion using zinc octanoate as a catalyst. React Funct Polym 112:33–44. Scholar
  13. Gutiérrez TJ, Alvarez VA (2017b) Cellulosic materials as natural fillers in starch-containing matrix-based films: a review. Polym Bull 74(6):2401–2430. Scholar
  14. Gutiérrez TJ, Alvarez VA (2017c) Data on physicochemical properties of active films derived from plantain flour/PCL blends developed under reactive extrusion conditions. Data Brief 15:445–448. Scholar
  15. Gutiérrez TJ, Alvarez VA (2017d) Eco-friendly films prepared from plantain flour/PCL blends under reactive extrusion conditions using zirconium octanoate as a catalyst. Carbohydr Polym 178:260–269. Scholar
  16. Gutiérrez TJ, Alvarez VA (2017e) Films made by blending poly(ε-caprolactone) with starch and flour from Sagu rhizome grown at the Venezuelan Amazons. J Polym Environ 25(3):701–716. Scholar
  17. Gutiérrez TJ, Alvarez VA (2018) Bionanocomposite films developed from corn starch and natural and modified nano-clays with or without added blueberry extract. Food Hydrocoll 77:407–420. Scholar
  18. Gutiérrez TJ, González G (2016) Effects of exposure to pulsed light on surface and structural properties of edible films made from cassava and taro starch. Food Bioprocess Technol 9(11):1812–1824. Scholar
  19. Gutiérrez TJ, González G (2017) Effect of cross-linking with Aloe vera gel on surface and physicochemical properties of edible films made from plantain flour. Food Biophys 12(1):11–22. Scholar
  20. Gutiérrez TJ, Pérez E, Guzmán R, Tapia MS, Famá L (2014) Physicochemical and functional properties of native and modified by crosslinking, dark-cush-cush yam (Dioscorea Trifida) and cassava (Manihot Esculenta) starch. J Polym Biopolym Phys Chem 2(1):1–5. Scholar
  21. Gutiérrez TJ, Morales NJ, Pérez E, Tapia MS, Famá L (2015a) Physico-chemical study of edible films based on native and phosphating cush-cush yam and cassava starches. Food Packaging Shelf Life 3:1–8. Scholar
  22. Gutiérrez TJ, Morales NJ, Tapia MS, Pérez E, Famá L (2015b) Corn starch 80:20 “waxy”:regular, “native” and phosphated, as bio-matrixes for edible films. Proc Mater Sci 8:304–310. Scholar
  23. Gutiérrez TJ, Tapia MS, Pérez E, Famá L (2015c) Structural and mechanical properties of native and modified cush-cush yam and cassava starch edible films. Food Hydrocoll 45:211–217. Scholar
  24. Gutiérrez TJ, Tapia MS, Pérez E, Famá L (2015d) Edible films based on native and phosphated 80:20 waxy:normal corn starch. Starch-Stärke 67(1–2):90–97. Scholar
  25. Gutiérrez TJ, Guzmán R, Medina Jaramillo C, Famá L (2016a) Effect of beet flour on films made from biological macromolecules: native and modified plantain flour. Int J Biol Macromol 82:395–403. Scholar
  26. Gutiérrez TJ, Suniaga J, Monsalve A, García NL (2016b) Influence of beet flour on the relationship surface-properties of edible and intelligent films made from native and modified plantain flour. Food Hydrocoll 54:234–244. Scholar
  27. Gutiérrez TJ, Guarás MP, Alvarez VA (2017) Reactive extrusion for the production of starch-based biopackaging. In: Masuelli MA (ed) Biopackaging. CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group, Miami, FL. EE.UU. ISBN: 978-1-4987-4968-8, pp 287–315Google Scholar
  28. Gutiérrez TJ, Herniou-Julien C, Álvarez K, Alvarez VA (2018a) Structural properties and in vitro digestibility of edible and pH-sensitive films made from Guinea arrowroot starch and wastes from wine manufacture. Carbohydr Polym 184:135–143. Scholar
  29. Gutiérrez TJ, Ollier R, Alvarez VA (2018b) Surface properties of thermoplastic starch materials reinforced with natural fillers. In: Thakur VK, Thakur MK (eds) Functional biopolymers. Springer International, Basel. EE.UU. ISBN: 978-3-319-66416-3. eISBN: 978-3-319-66417-0, pp 131–158. Scholar
  30. Medina Jaramillo C, Gutiérrez TJ, Goyanes S, Bernal C, Famá L (2016) Biodegradability and plasticizing effect of yerba mate extract on cassava starch edible films. Carbohydr Polym 151:150–159. Scholar
  31. Suárez G, Gutiérrez TJ (2017) Recent advances in the development of biodegadable films and foams from cassava starch. In: Klein C (ed) Handbook on cassava: production, potential uses and recent advances. Nova Science, New York. EE.UU. ISBN: 978-1-53610-307-6, pp 297–312Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thermoplastic Composite Materials (CoMP) Group, Institute of Research in Materials Science and Technology (INTEMA), Faculty of EngineeringNational University of Mar del Plata (UNMdP) and National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET)Mar del PlataArgentina

Personalised recommendations