Natural products as antimicrobial agents
- Natural antimicrobials could be used as alternatives to synthetic preservatives.
- Structural variation in plant compounds alters their antimicrobial activity.
- Plant by-products have the potential to be used as natural preservatives.
The use of natural antimicrobial compounds in food has gained much attention by the consumers and the food industry. This is due primarily to two major factors. First, the misuse and mishandling of antibiotics has resulted in the dramatic rise of a group of microorganisms including foodborne pathogens that are not only antibiotic resistant but also more tolerant to several food processing and preservation methods. In addition, increasing consumers' awareness of the potential negative impact of synthetic preservatives on health versus the benefits of natural additives has generated interest among researchers in the development and use of natural products in foods. This has prompted the food industry to look for alternative preservatives that can enhance the safety and quality of foods. Compounds derived from natural sources have the potential to be used for food safety due to their antimicrobial properties against a broad range of foodborne pathogens. This article reviews the antibacterial activity of natural components from different sources including plants, animals, bacteria, algae and mushrooms, and their potential use in food systems.
- Natural antimicrobials;
- Plant by-products;
- Algae and mushrooms;
- Foodborne pathogens;
- Food safety