Escola Superior de Biotecnologia

Natural Antimicrobials in Food Safety and Conservation

Wednesday, September 10, 2018 - 11:26

Natural antimicrobial agents as an alternative to chemical antimicrobials in food safety and preservation


The microbiological quality of food is a worrisome issue for the food industry, since the action of microorganisms can cause food spoilage and affect consumers health. The use of food additives is essential for reducing the microbial load of food.

In this study the ability of three natural compounds - chitosan, ethanolic extract of propolis and nisin - to inhibit the growth of 32 pathogenic microorganisms (or indicators of the presence of pathogens) was tested, and this inhibition was compared with that obtained with the chemical compound sodium nitrite (used in the food industry).

The results obtained demonstrate that the compounds evaluated have inhibitory capacity against various microorganisms. It was still possible to verify that these compounds had a greater inhibitory effect than sodium nitrite.

These results position the studied compounds as "strong candidates" to guarantee food safety and preservation as an alternative to conventional chemical antimicrobials.

The article is this:

Natural Antimicrobial Agents as an Alternative to Chemical Antimicrobials in the Safety and Preservation of Food Products. Joana Barbosa and Paula Teixeira. Current Chemical Biology, 2018.and is online here: