Applied Food Biotechnology,
Vol. 3 No. 3 (2016),
28 June 2016
Background and Objectives: Recently, due to the interest of healthy lifestyle demand for research on novel methods of increasing the shelf-life of food products without the necessity of using preservatives has extended rapidly in the world. Ability of nanoemulsions to improve global food quality has attracted great attention in food preservation. This is as a result of a number of
attributes peculiar to nanoemulsions such as optical clarity, ease of
preparation, thermodynamic stability and increased surface area. This review discusses the potential food applications of nanoemulsions as vehicles for the delivery of antimicrobial compounds. Moreover, the preparation, structure, and functional properties of nanoemulsions and their antimicrobial effects on foodborne pathogens and biofilms will be reviewed in detail. Antimicrobial nanoemulsions are formulated from the antimicrobial compounds that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in foods.
Results and Conclusion: The antimicrobial activity of nanoemulsions is nonspecific, unlike that of antibiotics, thus they have a broad-spectrum of antimicrobial activity against bacteria (e.g., Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus), enveloped viruses (e.g., HIV, and herpes simplex), fungi (e.g., Candida, Dermatophytes), and spores (e.g., anthrax) at concentrations that are nontoxic in animals (while limiting the capacity for the generation of resistance) and kill pathogens by interacting with their membranes. This physical kill-on-contact mechanism significantly reduces the possibility of the emergence of resistant strains. In general, more research is needed to improve the application processes of antimicrobial nanoemulsion, especially sensory aspects, to be appropriate for each product.
Conflict of interests: The authors declare no conflict of interest.