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Natural antimicrobial systems: new technologies for food safety, quality and environmental protection

The results have shown that several of the natural antimicrobial compounds tested, including a range of lytic enzymes, chitosan, cinnamic acid, plant essential oils, phenolics and bacteriocins, have potential for use as alternative preservatives in specific food applications. However, it has also been shown that no single compound was likely to be effective against all food spoilage and food poisoning organisms in all food matrices. The future lies in the rational selection of a combination of food preservation methods and compounds based on their known antimicrobial properties and on their interaction with other food components in the presence of a mixed microbial flora and a dynamic physical environment.

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