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Antimicrobial food packaging not only meets traditional packaging requirements, but also is able to kill pathogenic or spoilage microorganisms which are contaminating foods caused by defective packaging. Natural spice essential oils are well-known antimicrobial agents that could be used as food preservation to inhibit microbial growth. The manuscript provides evidence that some of these essential oils may be effective as indirect food additives combined into food packaging materials. In present study, agar diffusion methods was used to evaluate the antimicrobial activities of 10 spice essential oils against several common bacterial and fungal contaminants of foods, such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The antimicrobial test results showed that the essential oils of oregano and basil had strong antimicrobial activity and significant broad spectrum against the test microorganisms. It was also worth noting that the essential oil of perilla strongly inhibited the growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and the essential oil of bergamot was active against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis. Moreover, chemical compositions of these effective essential oils were analyzed by GC-MS. The effect of various combinations of these essential oils on antimicrobial activity has also been examined, and the combinations had higher inhibitory effect towards test microorganisms than that of individual essential oil. The application of combined essential oils-based active packaging in preservation of strawberry was also investigated. The use of active packaging possessed significant fresh-keeping effects on sensory, microbial value compared to the control testing, and the product shelf-life increased. These results suggest that combined essential oils-based antimicrobial food packaging is a promising food technology to ensure the quality and safety of food products.

KEYWORDS

Essential oils; Food-borne pathogens; GC-MS; Synergy; Antimicrobial food packaging; Strawberry

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Author: Fei Lv, Hao Liang, Qipeng Yuan, Chunfang Li

Source: http://www.scirp.org/



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