Technological watch

Nanoencapsulated nisin: An engineered natural antimicrobial system for the food industry

BackgroundThe use of natural antimicrobial agents is attracting much consideration for improving food safety. Reduced efficiency of antimicrobial compounds during their application in food matrix mainly due to their reaction with food components is among important problems to be solved. Nanotechnology is rapidly growing in the food industry specially to design nanodelivery systems of bioactive compounds such as nisin as the most important antimicrobial compound. Loaded-nisin nanoparticles are engineered antimicrobial agents based on nanotechnology, which have been used mostly for improving food safety. A variety of nanocarriers including nanoliposomes, nanoemulsions, solid lipid nanoparticles, lipid nano carriers, biopolymeric nanoparticles, and nanofibers are available to be used for the delivery of nisin into various food formulations.

Scope and approachStability against environmental stresses and controlled release are two main factors which must be considered in the case of using nisin as an antimicrobial agent for improving the shelf life of foods. The main objective of this review is to consider the role of different nanoencapsulation systems for improving the antimicrobial activity of nisin against foodborne pathogens. Loading of nisin into different food-grade nano-delivery systems, their formulation, and diverse ways to improve their functional roles are also covered in this work.

Key findings and conclusionsNanocarriers containing nisin can be used as a suitable antimicrobial substance in food formulations and in the structure of food packaging materials (active packaging). Encapsulation of nisin into nanoparticles provides many advantages including sustained release, preventing undesirable interactions, and providing a high stability and efficient antimicrobial activity during food storage. The formulation of nanoparticle plays a key role in the functional properties of nisin. For example, the types of lipids, biopolymers, and nanofibers in the nanoparticle formulation should be considered.

Publication date: 01/12/2019

Author: Akbar Bahrami, Rana Delshadi, Seid Mahdi Jafari, Leonard Williams

Trends in Food Science & Technology


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.