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Use of essential oils and plant extracts for food preservation

ANTONIO BEVILACQUA1*, MARIANGELA GALLO1, MARIANNE PERRICONE2, MARIA ROSARIA CORBO1, MILENA SINIGAGLIA1
*Corresponding author
1. University of Foggia, Department of Food Science, Faculty of Agricultural Science Via Napoli 25, Foggia, 71122, Italy
2. University of Foggia, Department of Agro-Environmental Sciences, Chemistry and Crop Protection Faculty of Agricultural Science, Via Napoli 25, Foggia, 71122, Italy

Abstract

Essential oils (EOs) are plant extracts, widely proposed and used for food preservation for their bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, antiparasitical and insecticidal properties. From a chemical point of view, EOs are complex natural mixtures which contain about 20–60 components at quite different concentrations. However, they are characterized by two or three major components (active compounds) at fairly high concentrations (20-70 percent) compared to other components present in trace amounts. Some example of EOs are: rosemary, oregano, citrus and Salvia officinalis extracts, as well as thymol, carvacrol, limonene, cinnamaldehyde and eugenol. Therefore, after a brief description of the most important findings for each compound/oil, the paper will report some case studies dealing with food application of citrus extract.



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