Functional Polymers in Food Science: From Technolo gy to Biology. Part 2: Food Processing
Polymers are an important part in everyday life; products madefrom polymers range from sophisticated articles, such asbiomaterials, to aerospace materials. One of the reasons for thegreat popularity exhibited by polymers is their ease of processing.Polymer properties can be tailored to meet specific needs byvarying the atomic composition of the repeatstructure, by varying molecular weight and by the incorporation(via covalent and non-covalent interactions) of an enormous rangeof compounds to impart specific activities.In food science, the use of polymeric materials is widelyexplored, from both an engineering and a nutraceutical point ofview. Regarding the engineering application, researchers havediscovered the most suitable materials for intelligent packagingwhich preserves the food quality and prolongs the shelf-life of theproducts. Furthermore, in agriculture, specific functionalizedpolymers are used to increase the efficiency of treatments andreduce the environmental pollution. In the nutraceutical field, because consumers are increasingly conscious of the relationshipbetween diet and health, the consumption of high quality foods hasbeen growing continuously. Different compounds (e.g. high qualityproteins, lipids and polysaccharides) are well known to contributeto the enhancement of human health by different mechanisms, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary disease, andhypertension.This second volume focuses on the importance of polymersand functional food and in food processing.