The synergism of natural compounds in the pursuit of safe and healthier food.
Sommaire de l'article
Food producers apply modern processing techniques and use a variety of preservative additives to guarantee safe food and a longer shelflife. Regrettably many of these impact the sensory characteristics of the foodstuffs, such as colour, texture, and flavour, which can result in low consumer acceptance. Additionally, strategies used to reduce growth of spoilage and pathogenic bacteria are not selective enough and may inactivate also desired microbiota. Food is usually overdosed with antimicrobials that are supplemented 'just in case.' Consequently, food producers are searching for natural preservation methods that are not harmful to humans. Nature offers a wide spectrum of biologically active (phyto) chemicals that can be used as potential natural preservatives. Compounds with bacterial growth-limiting properties are detected in all parts of plants, including their leaves, flowers, fruits, roots, etc. These are mostly acids, alcohols, medium and long-chain organic acids, terpenic compounds, and their derivatives. This study focused on the effectiveness of plant extracts, i.e., synergism between terpenoids and medium chain fatty acids in cured cooked meat. Bacterial strains that were tested include typical members of the spoilage microflora in vacuum (Lactobacillus curvatus) and MA-packed meats (Brochothrix thermosphacta). These were isolated and identified in a separate study. L. curvatus was observed to be very resistant against either terpenoids or fatty acids when used separately, whereas its growth was strongly inhibited when both chemicals were combined. Growth of B. thermosphacta was significantly inhibited when antimicrobial compounds were solely applied, whereas a blend of terpenoids and fatty acids showed an almost bactericidal effect.