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Natural Antimicrobials as Additives for Edible Food Packaging Applications: A Review

Edible packaging is a swiftly emerging art of science in which edible biopolymers like lipids, polysaccharides, proteins, resins, etc., and other consumable constituents extracted from various non-conventional sources are used alone or imbibed together. Edible packaging with antimicrobial components had led to the development of the hypothesis of active packaging which safeguards the quality of foods as well as health of consumers. Natural antimicrobial agents (NAMAs) like essential oils from spices, bioactive compounds derived from vegetables and fruits, animal and microorganism derived compounds having antimicrobial properties can be potentially used in edible films as superior replcement for synthetic compounds, thus serving the purpose of quality and heath. Most of the natural antimicrobial agents enjoy GRAS status and are safer than their synthetic counterparts. This review focuses on updated literature on the sources, properties and potential applications of NAMAs in the food industry. This review also analyzes the biodegradability and biocompatibility and edibility properties of NAMAs enriched films and it can be concluded that NAMAs are better substitutes but affect the organoleptic as well as the mechanical properties of the films. Despite many advantages, the inclusion of NAMAs into the films needs to be investigated more to quantify the inhibitory concentration without affecting the properties of films and exerting potential antimicrobial action to ensure food safety.

Publication date: 26/09/2021

Author: Sneh Punia Punia Bangar

Reference: doi: 10.3390/foods10102282

MDPI (foods)


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.