Antimicrobial Derived from Vegetable Extracts for Preservation of Liquid Food

Technology Overview

The technology involves the development of an antimicrobial solution based on active compounds that are derived from vegetable-based essential oils. The active molecules or compounds are adhered to specific substrates at micro- or nano-levels to develop the natural antimicrobial system. The antimicrobial is effective for use in food & beverage preservation without even breaking the bond between the active molecule and the substrate.

The natural antimicrobial technology can be a potential alternative to conventional synthetic antimicrobial technologies and unlike other natural antimicrobial technologies or systems, do not release undesired aroma or smell. Also, the binding of the active molecule with the substrate drastically reduces the risks of the antimicrobial being absorbed in the intestine, thereby, minimizing the chances of possible adverse reactions upon consumption.

Technology Features & Specifications

  • Essential oils Used – A number of essential oils can be used to develop the natural antimicrobial technology, which include cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, carvacrol, thymol and menthol, and organic acids such as ferulic acid or gallic acid.
  • Substrate used – The substrate used for binding the active molecules is a micro-crystalline form of silicon and cellulose oxide, in micro and nano sizes and cellulose filters.
  • Lesser amount of raw materials – The antimicrobial technology can function with lesser quantity of additive (active molecule) compared to other natural antimicrobial technologies.
  • No dependence on ancillary products or equipment for implementation – The natural antimicrobial can be added to the product to be preserved and does not require any other products or equipment for its addition to the intended food and beverage product.
  • Sustainable origin –The technology is based on naturally derived substances and doesn’t contain any ingredient of synthetic or chemical origin.

Potential Applications

The antimicrobial finds its potential in the food and beverage industry, specifically for use in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages such as:

  • Wine-making, wherein, the natural antimicrobial negates the need for sulphite that can potentially cause adverse effects for preservation of wine.
  • Milk and milk-products, in which the natural antimicrobial when used eliminates the need for heat treatments.
  • Other beverages such as fruit juices and water  

Market Trends and Opportunities

Food safety is gaining prominence with governments, food regulatory agencies and manufacturers realizing the need for effective food safety measures that can be proactively implemented during the manufacturing process itself. Growing customer preference towards natural ingredients along with the rising consumption of ready-to-eat foods and beverages has resulted in the increasing need for effective natural antimicrobial solutions. The global market for natural antimicrobials in the food and beverage industry is around $68.0 million in 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6% for the next three years. Also, from a manufacturers’ perspective, use of plant extracts doesn’t require any additional labeling to indicate functionality, making the adoption of natural antimicrobials advantageous to both manufacturers and end users. 

Customer Benefits

Use of the natural antimicrobial can provide multiple benefits including –

  • Reduced dependency on synthetic and chemical antimicrobial agents.
  • Elimination of possible adverse effects upon consumption of the preserved product.
  • Acceptable organoleptic characteristics compared to other natural antimicrobials.
  • Effective utilization of the volatile active molecules from the essential oils (due to the binding with the substrate).
  • Need for lower amount of raw materials compared to other antimicrobial technologies.
  • Ease of use during the beverage production and preservation processes.

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