Table of Contents
Journal of Polymers
Volume 2014, Article ID 427259, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/427259
Review Article

Edible Polymers: Challenges and Opportunities

Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Plot No. 630, Phase IV, Vatva, G.I.D.C., Ahmedabad 382 445, India

Received 25 January 2014; Accepted 10 April 2014; Published 5 May 2014

Academic Editor: Jean-Marc Saiter

Copyright © 2014 Subhas C. Shit and Pathik M. Shah. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Edible polymers have established substantial deliberation in modern eons because of their benefits comprising use as edible materials over synthetic polymers. This could contribute to the reduction of environmental contamination. Edible polymers can practically diminish the complexity and thus improve the recyclability of materials, compared to the more traditional non-environmentally friendly materials and may be able to substitute such synthetic polymers. A synthetic hydrogel polymer unlocked a new possibility for development of films, coatings, extrudable pellets, and synthetic nanopolymers, particularly designed for medical, agricultural, and industrial fields. Edible polymers offer many advantages for delivering drugs and tissue engineering. Edible polymer technology helps food industries to make their products more attractive and safe to use. Novel edible materials have been derived from many natural sources that have conventionally been regarded as discarded materials. The objective of this review is to provide a comprehensive introduction to edible polymers by providing descriptions in terms of their origin, properties, and potential uses.