Food Preservatives from Plants [chapter]

Hubert Antolak, Dorota Kregiel
2017 Food Additives  
It has long been shown that phytochemicals protect plants against viruses, bacteria, fungi and herbivores, but only relatively recently we have learnt that they are also critical in protecting humans against diseases. A significant amount of medicinal plants is consumed by humans. As food-related products, they additionally improve human health and general well-being. This chapter deals with plant-derived food preservatives. Particular attention has been paid to the following berry fruits:
more » ... erry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), black currant (Ribes nigrum), elderberry (Sambucus nigra), cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) and açaí (Euterpe oleracea), as well as the following herbs and spices: peppermint (Mentha piperita), basil (Ocimum basilicum), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), nettle (Urtica dioica), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) bark, cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) as alternative sources of natural antimicrobial and antibiofilm agents with potential use in food industry. Moreover, we present an overview of the most recent information on the positive effect of bioactive compounds of these plants on human health. This chapter is a collection of essential and valuable information for food producers willing to use plant-derived bioactive substances for ensuring the microbiological safety of products. different areas being known by different names. It is estimated that the total number of plants is of the order of 400,000 species. Despite such a great biodiversity, only 80,000 are edible for humans and animals, of which 30 produce 95% of human calories [1, 2] . Furthermore, a significant number of known plants are not only a source of nutrients but also find use as remedies for health problems. For centuries, plants have been known as a sources of bioactive compounds usable to fight health issues. According to the World Health Organization report released in 2003, over 50% of the population of Europe, North America and other industrialized regions have used complementary or alternative medicine at least once. What is more, traditional herbal preparations account for 30-50% of the total medicinal consumption in China. Moreover, the global market of herbal medicines stands at over $ 60 billion annually and generates increasing interest [3] .
doi:10.5772/intechopen.70090 fatcat:af6pdmv6jvconp7k3kossoucpm