Biopolymers and composites: Properties, characterization and their applications in food, medical and pharmaceutical industries

Gowthama Prabu Udayakumar, Subbulakshmi Muthusamy, Bharathi Selvaganesh, N. Sivarajasekar*, Krishnamoorthy Rambabu, Fawzi Banat, Selvaraju Sivamani, Nallusamy Sivakumar, Ahmad Hosseini-Bandegharaei, Pau Loke Show

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Polymers have occupied an indispensable role in almost all types of industries for their immense physical and mechanical characteristics, mainly in food, packaging, pharmaceutical and therapeutic sectors. They were synthesized from chemical monomeric sources which paved the way to become a potentially harmful non-biodegradable waste in the environment. Here comes the introduction of biopolymers, as the organic substances present in natural sources as monomeric units that can be purified and processed based on the desired form of usage. These biopolymers were found to be biocompatible and biodegradable which makes them useful in different applications, such as edible films, emulsions, packaging materials in food industry and as drug transport materials, medical implants like organ, tissue scaffolds, wound healing and dressing materials in pharmaceutical industries. The main focus of this review is to provide a comprehensive knowledge about the physical, thermal, mechanical and optical properties of biopolymers and its composites in relation with the different characterization techniques. A detailed information of its usage in the food and pharmaceutical industries in different forms would be discussed with the upcoming trends thereby providing a wide avenue for enhanced research considering the future demands.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105322
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Biopolymer
  • Characterization
  • Drug delivery
  • Food packaging
  • Scaffold
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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