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Content archived on 2024-06-10

Development and implementation of natural antimicrobial agents from plants for food preservation


Foreseen Results

The development of the new natural, antimicrobial agents from plants will consider all aspects that are important for practical application: functionality (effect, efficiency, formulation, shell-life), costs (of production, use) and legislation.
Food manufacturing companies are increasingly more using mild and natural preservation systems in order to produce the food products that the consumer wants to buy, namely those that combine a "nature-like", "fresh-like", "preservative-free" or "healthy" food quality with convenience. Whereas the traditional preservation systems cannot serve this desire of consumers but yield a very safe product, mild preservation systems provide the required product quality but, inherently, a less safe product.

Because chemical preservatives cannot be used to assure a more appropriate safety, there is an urgent need for additional antimicrobial techniques or agents. For centuries , good use is made in many food preparations of preservatives "from nature". These biopreservatives or green chemicals occur in many plants, herbs or spices where they, on the one hand, provide certain functionalities (aroma, taste, scent) and, on the other, have antimicrobial properties.

It is the objective of this project is to identify and develop a selection of such biopreservatives for their antimicrobial activity against spoilage microorganisms and relevant pathogens. Within the lifetime of the project (two years), implementation of the biopreservatives will be undertake on semi-practical conditions for a range of quality and valuable, convenience food products (vegetable, fruit, poultry or meat products).

The potential exploitation of medicinal plants and spices and antimicrobial agents has been investigated preliminary by the project participants (6 research institutions from Greece, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, The Netherlands and Romania). These experienced groups will join forces to screen indigenous plant crops, based mainly and previously obtained knowledge, for useful biopreservatives that will be developed further for application in practice. To assure a tight link with practice, a company (in Slovenia) collaborates in the project that will develop practical application systems of the biopreservatives (based on current and novel techniques) and that will test the new agents on food products in semi-practise.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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59,Bornsesteeg 59
6700 AA Wageningen

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Participants (6)