Journal : International Journal of Molecular Sciences , 2022
Publisher : MDPI
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 1661-6596
Electronic : 1422-0067
Publication type : Academic article
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Essential oils and their active components have been extensively reported in the literature
for their efficient antimicrobial, antioxidant and antifungal properties. However, the sensitivity of
these volatile compounds towards heat, oxygen and light limits their usage in real food packaging
applications. The encapsulation of these compounds into inorganic nanocarriers, such as nanoclays,
has been shown to prolong the release and protect the compounds from harsh processing conditions.
Nevertheless, these systems have limited shelf stability, and the release is of limited control.
Thus, this study presents a mesoporous silica nanocarrier with a high surface area and well-ordered
protective pore structure for loading large amounts of natural active compounds (up to 500 mg/g).
The presented loaded nanocarriers are shelf-stable with a very slow initial release which levels out
at 50% retention of the encapsulated compounds after 2 months. By the addition of simulated driploss
from chicken, the release of the compounds is activated and gives an antimicrobial effect, which
is demonstrated on the foodborne spoilage bacteria Brochothrix thermosphacta and the potentially
pathogenic bacteria Escherichia coli. When the release of the active compounds is activated, a ≥ 4-log
reduction in the growth of B. thermosphacta and a 2-log reduction of E. coli is obtained, after only one
hour of incubation. During the same one-hour incubation period the dry nanocarriers gave a negligible
inhibitory effect. By using the proposed nanocarrier system, which is activated by the food
product itself, increased availability of the natural antimicrobial compounds is expected, with a
subsequent controlled antimicrobial effect.