Monday, June 6, 2022

Anti-spoilage agents for food

Food spoilage is defined as a process that renders a product unacceptable or undesirable for consumption and is the result of the biochemical activity of microbial populations that predominate in the product. Among spoilage microorganisms, bacteria, fungi (yeast and mold) are the major concerns.

Microorganism contamination at various stages of food chain is one of the major causes for food spoilage that ultimately leads to food waste, increasing food insecurity issues and substantial economic losses

Anti-spoilage agent or food preservatives are employed to ensure safety and avoid quality loss derived from microbial, physical–chemical, or enzymatic reactions.

Food preservatives are classified into two main groups: antioxidants and antimicrobials. Antioxidants are compounds that delay or prevent the deterioration of foods by oxidative mechanisms.

Antimicrobial agents inhibit the growth of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms in food. To prevent growth of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms in foods, several preservation techniques, such as heat treatment, salting, acidification, and drying have been used in the food industry

Various synthetic chemical preservatives are being used to control microbial food spoilage and to extend product shelf life. All chemical preservatives must be nontoxic and readily soluble, not impart off-flavors, exhibit antimicrobial properties over the pH range of the food, and be economical and practical.

Natural preservatives are easy to obtain from plants, animals and microbes. These naturally occurring antimicrobial agents can be isolated from indigenous sources using various advanced techniques.

The 5 most common food preservatives are: salt, nitrites, BHA/BHT, sulfites, sodium benzoate/potassium benzoate/benzene
Anti-spoilage agents for food

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