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Trends in Food Science & Technology
Volume 81, 2018, Pages: 51-60

Use of encapsulated natural compounds as antimicrobial additives in food packaging: A brief review

Micheli Zanetti, Thaís Karoline Carniel, Francieli Dalcanton, Raul Silvados Anjos, Humberto Gracher Riella, Pedro H.H.de Araújo, Déborade Oliveira, Marcio Antônio Fiori

Department of Chemical and Food Engineering. Universidade Comunitária da Região de Chapecó (UNOCHAPECO), Chapecó, SC, Brazil.



Synthetic chemical preservatives in food can be harmful to human health. These problems have increasingly attracted concern and interest from researchers, which has led to the study and application of non-toxic essential oils with preservative ability in food products and food packaging. A great challenge in this sense is their facile degradation during processing of the food and manufacturing processes during food packing.

Scope and approach

Encapsulation is an interesting technique to improve the physical-chemical and microbiological stability of these essential oils, as well as to achieve controlled release. This review provides a detailed overview of encapsulation in the food industry, focusing on the application of procedures to encapsulate antimicrobial essential oils.

Key findings and conclusions

This review focuses on recent studies related to nanotechnology and the nano and microencapsulation of essential oils. This study provides valuable insight that may be useful for identifying trends in the commercialization of nanotechnological products or for identifying new research areas. The results published to date confirm that the encapsulation promotes the protection of active compounds, enabling industrial applications of active packaging.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Encapsulation, Essential oils, Active food packaging, Antimicrobial activity.

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