What You Need To Know Before Buying Antimicrobial Food Preservatives From Suppliers in the Philippines
Historically, preserving food has been vital to ensuring that people have enough supply and sustenance for prolonged periods. This is why many food preservation methods have emerged to prevent early spoilage until you consume the item. Furthermore, food preservation reduces waste at the landfill and helps you make healthier eating choices.
There are many food preservation agents available in the market, and one of them is antimicrobials. These are most often used with other preservation techniques, such as refrigeration, to restrain the growth of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms.
What are Antimicrobial Food Preservatives?
Antimicrobial food preservatives are chemicals used in food to kill undesirable microorganisms. They are used in relatively small doses to prevent the growth of bacteria or fungi, which causes early food decomposition.
These preservatives may be classified as traditional or naturally occurring. Traditional antimicrobials are approved for use in foods and drinks by many international regulatory agencies. Naturally occurring antimicrobials, on the other hand, are only proposed for use in foods.
Factors To Consider in Selecting Antimicrobial Food Preservatives in the Philippines
Selecting the appropriate antimicrobial preservative for a food product is not an easy process. You must first identify the target pathogen or spoilage microorganisms. From there, you need to evaluate the possible preservation system via model studies.
The initial selection of an antimicrobial food preservative is based on your assessment of the microbial spectrum of the chemical. The antimicrobial spectrum must have an evaluation of the compound against the following:
- Various types of microorganisms
- Forms of microorganisms
- Other species, strain, and positive or negative gram reactions’
Physicochemical Properties of the Antimicrobial
Antimicrobials have various physicochemical properties that you have to take in mind. After all, the overall microbial spectrum, mode of action, and efficacy of compounds are solely dependent on the chemical and physical properties of the antimicrobial.
For example, the most critical physical property of an antimicrobial is its polarity.
Another thing you should consider is its water solubility. This is to ensure that the antimicrobial is soluble in the water phase, where microbial growth occurs.
The chemical reactivity of an antimicrobial with other food components, such as lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates, can enormously decrease its activity. Aside from that, its chemical reactions can form unpleasant flavors, odors, and colors.
Other food factors that may lead to reduced effectiveness among food antimicrobials are food component interactions. Most food antimicrobials are amphiphilic, meaning they are soluble in lipids or hydrophobic proteins. This characteristic makes them less available to inhibit microorganisms in the food product.
The food preservation method can significantly influence the type and level of antimicrobial needed. This is because some preservation processes might result in the need to control spore formers, which can survive the heating process. As a result, molds survive and yeasts grow at a lower water activity than bacteria, indicating the need for a different antimicrobial.
Natural Antimicrobial Food Preservatives From Plant Sources
The continuous need to lower the use of synthetically manufactures food preservatives has led to the constant growth of antimicrobial food preservatives from plant extracts.
Spices and Herbs
The efficacy of spices and herbs as natural antimicrobial food preservatives have been stated in past studies. They have been primarily used in whole, pulverized, and encapsulated forms. In addition, the antimicrobial nature of these spices and herbs exhibits excellent antioxidant capacity, which helps inhibit oxidative spoilage.
Spices and herbs also contain aromatic and volatile compounds found in different parts of plants, including roots, barks, and flowers. They are often produced as a defense against attacks from plant predators.
Essential oils are secondary oily aromatic metabolites extracted from different plant parts through various methods, such as solvent extraction, distillation, solvent-free process, and combination method.
These natural antimicrobial food preservatives consist of antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that can reduce the population of pathogenic bacteria and lipid oxidation.
Antioxidants are natural compounds that inhibit oxidative damage in foods, which lead to changes in the nutritional and organoleptic food properties. They are also beneficial against several lifestyle diseases caused by oxidative stress. A few examples of natural antioxidants in food are carotenoids, tocopherol, ascorbic acid, and some phenolic compounds.
In addition, antioxidants have been utilized as natural antimicrobial food preservatives because of their protective effect against cardiovascular and brain diseases and regulation with the immune system.
Sugar brings out a significant effect on the quality attributes of food because it can inhibit the growth of some microbes.
For instance, dried sausages stored for 66 days contain free or immobilized lactobacillus casei on wheat. It was also found to significantly reduce pseudomonas, staphylococci, and enterobacteria populations during maturity.
However, when sugar was added to these dried sausages, it enhanced shelf life and gave the food a distinctive aroma and refined taste.