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Title: Essential oils of aromatic and medicinal plants play a role in food safety
Authors: Laranjo, M.
Férnandez-Léon, A.
Agulheiro-Santos, A.C.
Potes, M.E.
Elias, M.
Keywords: food preservation
antimicrobial activity
oregano essential oil
thyme essential oil
cinnamom essential oil
rosemary essential oil
clove essential oil
sage essential oil
Issue Date: Nov-2019
Citation: Laranjo, M., Férnadez-Léon, A., Agulheiro-Santos, A.C., Potes, M.E., Elias, M. (2019) Essential oils of aromatic and medicinal plants play a role in food safety.J Food Process Preserv 2019;00:e14278 7pp
Abstract: Essential oils (EOs) are natural substances extracted from aromatic and medicinal plants (AMPs), important in food preservation. Several studies have shown that AMPs, as well as their EOs have antimicrobial (antibacterial and antifungal) activity. Indeed, our in vitro studies have shown that oregano and thyme EOs are effective against foodborne bacteria, isolated from fermented meat products and cheeses, such as Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., and Staphylococcus aureus. However, EOs of thyme and oregano seem to control the growth of fungi, namely Botrytis cinerea and Aspergillus spp., affecting the shelf‐life of fruits during postharvest. The EOs of sage and rosemary have shown little or no antimicrobial activity. Shelf‐life extension studies using several EOs (cinnamon, clove, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme) and AMPs were performed using pork meat, goat cheese, strawberries, and table grapes. Preliminary results regarding food safety and sensory acceptability are discussed.Practical applicationsConsumers' demands for more traditional and healthier food products led to a search for alternatives to replace synthetic by natural additives. EOs of AMPs contribute to food safety, due to their antimicrobial properties. Consequently, the use of AMPs' EOs may also extend the shelf‐life of food products. In the present study, experi ‐mental shelf‐life trials using EOs with different food products were performed, with promising preliminary results. Cinnamon, sage, and thyme EOs extended the shelf‐life of strawberries and table grapes. Oregano EO prolonged the shelf‐life of soft cheese. Thyme EO controlled the population of enterobacteria present in pork meat. Furthermore, the conditions used in this study can be directly applied in the food in ‐dustry. Moreover, AMPs may be interesting alternatives to replace or reduce artificial food additives.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:MED - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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