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A review on antifungal activity and mode of action of essential oils and their delivery as nano-sized oil droplets in food system

Basak, Suradeep, Guha, Proshanta
Journal of food science and technology 2018 v.55 no.12 pp. 4701-4710
antifungal properties, antioxidants, bacteria, bioavailability, droplets, emulsifying, emulsions, essential oils, flavor, food matrix, food preservation, fungal spores, mechanism of action, minimally processed foods, mycelium, odors, oils, secondary metabolites
An escalated demand of minimally processed food and increased negative perception for synthetic preservative has led to a lookout for a natural preservative. Essential oils (EOs) are volatile and aromatic secondary metabolites of plants that have been tapped mainly for its flavour and fragrances and various biological properties such as antimicrobial and antioxidant. The constituents and antifungal potential of EOs have been reported widely in the present scientific literature. Moreover, the current scientific research dealing with the mode of action of EOs on fungal spores and mycelial cells are very scarce, unlike bacteria. The antimicrobial efficacy of EO in real food system may alter due to interaction with food matrix components. Besides, minimum alteration in sensory qualities while retaining its maximum activity is the most sought-after criteria for food preservation with EOs. If the oil is applied in excess to have better antimicrobial activity, it may end up having an unacceptable organoleptic impact on the food. Appropriate edible delivery systems of EOs as an emulsion is a probable approach to retain the maximum efficacy of EOs in the food system. Nano-emulsification of EO could increase its bioactivity due to increased bioavailability in the food matrix. The basis of this review is to provide an overview of current knowledge about the antifungal properties and antifungal mode of action of EOs, and to recognize the application of EO as nano-sized oil droplets in the food system.