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New, natural preservation systems from plants for food safety and applications in food models.

The task of this research project is to develop natural
preservatives, mainly herb-based extracts and essential
oils as a new alternative for the preservation and safety
of food products.

Several food additives are used to extend food shelf life and delay or inhibit the growth of pathogenic micro- organisms. In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the use of natural substances and some questions concerning the safety of synthetic compounds have promoted more detailed studies on plant resources. Aromatic plants and their essential oils, used since antiquity in folk medicine and in preserving foods, provide a wide range of compounds possessing antimicrobiological activities. These extracts have a differentiated effect against the various micro-organisms, moulds and yeasts. The problems of manufacturing high quality food products, without additives is considered impossible without food safety risks and pour sensory quality. It also comprises the problem in the marketing of food products. The use of essential oils as growth inhibitors in foods is often limited because of flavour considerations, since effective antimicrobial doses may exceed the organoleptically acceptable levels. Another way to solve the problem could be to find natural components, which preserve the stability and safety of the product and are allowed also in food products. Such components have been found in some spices, herbs and plants. More tests are needed with the real food products. Our aim is to develop natural preservatives, which preserve the stability and safety of the food products. The main research activities of the product consist of natural food additives from local raw materials, herbs or other plants. The new food products must be safe for the consumer and the shelf life long enough for the logistic chain. The sensory quality of the food products must be acceptable for the consumer. The main axis of this research will be to work on: 1. Selection of the most promising plants for applications: * collect information on plants, which have antimicrobial and antioxidant activity * determine chemical composition * select the most effective compounds * screening tests on sensorial attributes * check of legislation. 2. Detailed analysis of natural components: * detailed information on the essential oils selected from phase I * screening of antimicrobial tests against spoiler microbes and pathogens * mixtures of the most promising essential oils * sensorial attributes * new applications for safer foods. 3. New applications in food models: * effects of new applications for shelf life, safety and sensorial attributes in food models * the effects of processing * consumer tests. 4. Market evaluation and legislation: * 'sit on the food company's chair' * legislation confirmed * benefit analysis. 5. Summary: Advantageous analysis of the project * statement of results * benefits of the new components versus the available ones * costs versus benefits * environmental and natural aspect * new opportunity for European food companies. MEAT 21 Brokerage Event held in Barcelona 11-12th May, 2000. Application meeting, Paris (FRANCE) 21st October, 2000. Keywords: food preservation, essential oils, biological activity.
Acronym: 
FOOD PRESERVATION
Project ID: 
2 509
Start date: 
01-01-2001
Project Duration: 
48months
Project costs: 
1 000 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Food Additives / Ingredients
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.