At present, most of the preservatives added to food are synthetic chemical preparations. Although they will not cause harm to the human body as long as they are added in an appropriate amount, long-term consumption is not good for health. Guided by the concept of healthy eating, natural preservatives have begun to replace artificial preservatives, such as monascus from microbial sources; tea polyphenols from plant sources, and garlic extract. Many plant components have bactericidal effects and certain healthcare functions for the human body, so plant extracts will play an increasingly important role in the field of food preservatives. The following plant extracts are all-natural preservatives that are currently used more in the food field.
The pomegranate peel contains a variety of alkaloids, and the antibacterial test has confirmed that the alcohol extract of pomegranate and the peel water decoction has broad-spectrum antibacterial effects, and have obvious inhibitory effects on a variety of bacteria and fungi. At room temperature, fresh meat will breed various bacteria within a day, so the industry will add preservatives to inhibit the growth of microorganisms to prolong the shelf life of food.
Lamb is more difficult to preserve than pork and beef. It can only be kept fresh for six hours after being cut without refrigeration, and there is currently no technology that can make the shelf life of fresh lamb more than 20 hours without chemical preservatives. But injecting special substances extracted from pomegranate peels into mutton can effectively prevent the meat from rotting and breeding bacteria.
Scientists say that while the research on this pomegranate peel extract has focused on lamb, its effects could work on chicken and pork as well.
Tea polyphenols are active ingredients extracted from green tea leaves, in addition to having antioxidant and bactericidal effects. Tea polyphenols have been widely used in the food industry as antioxidants and preservatives. Tea polyphenols can be used in foods such as oils, moon cakes, and hams. The addition of tea polyphenols to meat products can make the protein and tea polyphenols on the surface of meat products form a layer of airtight hard film, which can inhibit the oxidative rancidity and bacterial growth on the surface of meat products and prevent spoilage.
The extract of garlic is allicin. Allicin can activate cells, promote energy production, increase antibacterial and antiviral abilities, and has a strong killing effect on both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
Allicin has a special effect on the preservation of fruits and vegetables. Garlic extract can significantly improve the flavor and color of the fruit, improve fruit quality, reduce redness index and rot rate, inhibit the loss of vitamin C content, and at the same time retain nutrients to a greater extent.