Recipe for natural preservative success?

Findings pointed to a higher antioxidant capacity compared to the loaf breads infused with ascorbic acid and potassium sorbate.

The researchers believe these extracts “might represent alternatives to commercial additives depending on the intended preservative effect”.

Additives such as ascorbic acid (an antioxidant) and potassium sorbate (a preservative), are commonly used in food processing to not only ensure the product quality but also to help provide the desired texture and flavour.

Their use is restricted in terms of amounts in food products by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), who have deemed the additives as toxic in high amounts.

Natural extracts not only appear to be viable alternatives but also satisfy consumers, who increasingly care about health and well-being and as such, prefer food labelled as healthier and more natural.

As well as additives, antimicrobials, antioxidants and antibrowning agents are among the additives mostly used by the food industry to preserve products for longer periods.


Researchers from the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança in Portugal and the University of Belgrade in Serbia established three study groups: control (without addition of any additive), bread incorporated with ascorbic acid (E300) and bread incorporated with potassium sorbate (E202).

For each group, the team performed a series of analytical tests three times throughout the study period: immediately after infusion and after three and seven days.

Additional loaf bread samples infused with catechin, from strawberry tree fruits, and rosmarinic acid from basil leaves, were also included in the experiment.

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