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As a bioactive extract from tea leaves, tea polyphenols (TP) are safe and natural. Its excellent antioxidant and antibacterial properties are increasingly regarded as a good additive for improving degradable food packaging film properties. This article comprehensively reviewed the functional properties of active films containing TP developed recently. The effects of TP addition to enhancing active food packaging films' performance, including thickness, water sensitivity, barrier properties, color, mechanical properties, antioxidant, antibacterial, and intelligent discoloration properties, were discussed. Besides, the practical applications in food preservation of active films containing TP are also discussed. This work concluded that the addition of TP could impart antioxidant and antibacterial properties to active packaging films and act as a crosslinking agent to improve other physical and chemical properties of the film, such as mechanical and barrier properties. However, the effect of TP on specific properties of the active packaging film is complex, and the appropriate TP concentration needs to be selected according to the type of film matrix and the interaction between the components. Notably, the addition of TP improved the efficiency of the active packaging film in food preservation applications, which accelerates the process of replacing the traditional plastic-based food packaging with active packaging film.


Wanli Zhang, Haitao Jiang, Jong-Whan Rhim, Jiankang Cao, Weibo Jiang. Tea polyphenols (TP): a promising natural additive for the manufacture of multifunctional active food packaging films. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2023;63(2):288-301

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PMID: 34229564

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