The crescent interest in the use of essential oils (EOs) as natural antimicrobials and preservatives in the food industry has been driven in the last years by the growing consumers' demand for natural products with improved microbial safety, and fresh-like organoleptic properties. Nanoemulsions efficiently contribute to support the use of EOs in foods by increasing their dispersibility in the food areas where microorganisms grow and proliferate, by reducing the impact on the quality attributes of the product, as well as by enhancing their antimicrobial activity. Understanding how nanoemulsions intervene on the mass transfer of EOs to the cell membrane and on the mechanism of antimicrobial action will support the engineering of more effective delivery systems and foster the application of EOs in real food systems. This review focuses on the enabling contribution of nanoemulsions to the use of EOs as natural preservative agents in food, (a) specifically addressing the formulation and fabrication of stable EO nanoemulsions, (b) critically analyzing the reported antimicrobial activity data, both in vitro and in product, to infer the impact of the delivery system on the mechanisms of action of EOs, as well as (c) discussing the regulatory issues associated with their use in food systems.

Essential oil nanoemulsions as antimicrobial agents in food

DONSI', FRANCESCO;FERRARI, Giovanna
2016-01-01

Abstract

The crescent interest in the use of essential oils (EOs) as natural antimicrobials and preservatives in the food industry has been driven in the last years by the growing consumers' demand for natural products with improved microbial safety, and fresh-like organoleptic properties. Nanoemulsions efficiently contribute to support the use of EOs in foods by increasing their dispersibility in the food areas where microorganisms grow and proliferate, by reducing the impact on the quality attributes of the product, as well as by enhancing their antimicrobial activity. Understanding how nanoemulsions intervene on the mass transfer of EOs to the cell membrane and on the mechanism of antimicrobial action will support the engineering of more effective delivery systems and foster the application of EOs in real food systems. This review focuses on the enabling contribution of nanoemulsions to the use of EOs as natural preservative agents in food, (a) specifically addressing the formulation and fabrication of stable EO nanoemulsions, (b) critically analyzing the reported antimicrobial activity data, both in vitro and in product, to infer the impact of the delivery system on the mechanisms of action of EOs, as well as (c) discussing the regulatory issues associated with their use in food systems.
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Descrizione: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2016.07.005
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4668890
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