Natural Antimicrobials

Especially in recent years, consumers have begun to show a strong preference for natural over synthetic, and for this reason, naturally derived antimicrobial agents are becoming increasingly important in antimicrobial packaging, as they present a perceived lower risk to the consumers (Chen et al., 1996; Fernandez 2000; Gould 2000;

Suppakul et al., 2003a,b; Kerry et al., 2006; Conte et al., 2007), and the use of natural antimicrobial agents may become popular areas of packaging research (Han 2000).

These natural compounds are perceived to be safer and claimed to alleviate safety concerns (Lee et al., 1998; Suhr and Nielsen 2003). Main natural compounds are essential oils derived from plants (e.g., basil, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, clove, and rosemary), enzymes obtained from animal sources (e.g., lysozyme, lacto-ferrin), bacteriocins from microbial sources (nisin, natamycin), organic acids (e.g., sorbic, propionic, citric acid), and naturally occurring polymers (e.g., chitosan) (Lucera et al., 2012).

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