Wood decay is addressed continuously within the wood industry through use and development of wood preservatives. The increasing awareness on the negative effects of many chemicals towards the environment is causing political restrictions in their use and creating more urgent need for research on green alternatives. This paper discusses some of the possible natural extracts for wood preserving applications and compares the analytical methods available for testing their behavior and efficiency against decay fungi. The results indicate that natural extracts have interesting chemical constituents that delay fungal growth but vary in efficiency depending on the chemical concentration and substrate used. Results also suggest that presence and redistribution of preservatives in wood during exposure trials can be assessed by spectral imaging methods although standardized methods are not available. This study concludes that, in addition to the many standard methods available, there is a need to develop new faster methods for screening potential preservative formulation while maintaining the comparability and relevance of results.
Microbial degradation of foods is defined as a decrease of food safety due to microorganism activity. Organic acids, sulfur dioxide, sulfide, nitrate, nitrite, dimethyl dicarbonate and several preservative gases have been used as chemical preservatives in foods as well as natural preservatives which are indigenous in foods. It is determined that usage of herbal preservatives such as blueberry, dried grape, prune, garlic, mustard, spices inhibited several microorganisms. Moreover, it is determined that animal origin preservatives such as whey, honey, lysosomes of duck egg and chicken egg, chitosan have antimicrobial effect. Other than indigenous antimicrobials in foods, antimicrobial agents produced by microorganisms could be used as natural preservatives. The antimicrobial feature of preservatives depends on the antimicrobial spectrum, chemical and physical features of material, concentration, mode of action, components of food, process conditions, and pH and storage temperature. In this review, studies about antimicrobial components which are indigenous in food (such as herbal and animal origin antimicrobial agents), antimicrobial materials synthesized by microorganisms, and their usage as an antimicrobial agent to preserve foods are discussed.
During the recent years the six-fold growth of cancer in Iran has led the production of healthy products to become a challenge in the food industry. Due to the young population in the country, the consumption of fast foods is growing. The chemical cancer-causing preservatives are used to produce these products more than the standard; so using an appropriate alternative seems to be important. On the one hand, the plant essential oils show the high antimicrobial potential against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms and on the other hand they are highly volatile and decomposed under the processing conditions. The study aims to produce the loaded chitosan nanoparticles with different concentrations of savory essential oil to improve the anti-microbial property and increase the resistance of essential oil to oxygen and heat. The encapsulation efficiency was obtained in the range of 32.07% to 39.93% and the particle size distribution of the samples was observed in the range of 159 to 210 nm. The range of Zeta potential was obtained between -11.9 to -23.1 mV. The essential oil loaded in chitosan showed stronger antifungal activity against Rhizopus stolonifer. The results showed that the antioxidant property is directly related to the concentration of loaded essential oil so that the antioxidant property increases by increasing the concentration of essential oil. In general, it seems that the savory essential oil loaded in chitosan particles can be used as a food processor.
Natural preservatives have been used as alternatives to traditional chemical preservatives; however, a limited number have been commercially developed and many remain to be investigated as sources of safer and effective antimicrobials. In this study, we have been investigating the antimicrobial activity of an extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice) that was provided as a waste material from the production of liquorice flavourings for the food industry, and to investigate if this retained the expected antimicrobial activity so it could be used as a natural preservative. Antibacterial activity of liquorice extract was screened for evidence of growth inhibition against eight species of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria innocua, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis and Bacillus subtilis. The Gram-negative bacteria tested include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium but none of these were affected by the extract. In contrast, for all of the Gram-positive bacteria tested, growth was inhibited as monitored using optical density. However parallel studies using viable count indicated that the cells were not killed meaning that the extract was bacteriostatic rather than bacteriocidal. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration [MIC] and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration [MBC] of the extract was also determined and a concentration of 50 µg ml-1 was found to have a strong bacteriostatic effect on Gram-positive bacteria. Microscopic analysis indicated that there were changes in cell shape suggesting the cell wall was affected. In addition, the use of a reporter strain of Listeria transformed with the bioluminescence genes luxABCDE indicated that cell energy levels were reduced when treated with either 12.5 or 50 µg ml-1 of the extract, with the reduction in light output being proportional to the concentration of the extract used. Together these results suggest that the extract is inhibiting the growth of Gram-positive bacteria only by damaging the cell wall and/or membrane.
The main aim of this research was to investigate a prototype bamboo shading device. There were two objectives to this study: first, to investigate the effects of non-chemical treatments on bamboo shading devices damaged by powder-post beetles and fungi, and second to develop a prototype bamboo shading device. This study of the effects of non-chemical treatments on bamboo shading devices damage by powder-post beetles in the laboratory showed that, among seven treatments tested, wood vinegar treatment can protect powder-post beetles better than the original method by up to 92.91%. It was also found that wood vinegar treatment shows the best performance in fungi protection and works better than the original method by up to 40%. A second experiment was carried out by constructing four bamboo shading devices and installing them on a building for 28 days. All aspects of shading device were investigated in terms of their beauty, durability, and ease of construction and assembly. The final prototype was developed from the lessons learned from the test results. In conclusion, this study showed the effectiveness of some natural preservatives against insect and fungi damage, and it also illustrated the characteristics of a prototype bamboo shading device that can be constructed by rural workers within one week.
Bamboo is extensively used in construction industry. Low durability of bamboo due to fungus infestation and termites attack under storage puts certain constrains for it usage as modern structural material. Looking at many chemical formulations for bamboo treatment leading to severe harmful environment effects, research on eco-friendly preservatives for bamboo treatment has been initiated world-over. In the present studies, eco-friendly preservative for bamboo treatment has been developed. To validate its application for structural purposes, investigation of effect of treatment on compressive strength has been investigated. Neemoil (25%) integrated with copper naphthenate (0.3%) on dilution with kerosene oil impregnated into bamboo culm at 2 bar pressure, has shown weight loss of only 3.15% in soil block analysis method. The results from compressive strength analysis using HEICO Automatic Compression Testing Machine reveal that preservative treatment has not altered the structural properties of bamboo culms. Compressive strength of control (11.72 N/mm2) and above treated samples (11.71 N/mm2) was found to be comparable.
Microbial production of antimicrobials as biopreservatives is the major area of focus nowadays due to increased interest of consumers towards natural and safe preservation of ready to eat food products. The agro-industrial byproduct based medium and optimized process conditions can contribute in economical production of bacteriocins. Keeping this in view, the present investigation was carried out on agro-industrial byproducts utilization for the production of bacteriocin using Enterococcus faecium BS13 isolated from local fermented food. Different agro-industrial byproduct based carbon sources (whey, potato starch liquor, kinnow peel, deoiledrice bran and molasses), nitrogen sources (soya okra, pea pod and corn steep liquor), metal ions and surfactants were tested for optimal bacteriocin production. The effect of various process parameters such as pH, temperature, inoculum level, agitation and time were also tested on bacteriocin production. The optimized medium containing whey, supplemented with 4%corn steep liquor and polysorbate-80 displayed maximum bacteriocin activity with 2% inoculum, at pH 6.5, temperature 40oC under shaking conditions (100 rpm).
The purpose of this study was to elucidate the factors affecting antimicrobial effectiveness of essential oils against food spoilage and pathogenic bacteria. The minimum inhibition concentrations (MIC) of the essential oils, were determined by turbidimetric technique using Biocreen C, analyzer. The effects of pH ranging from 7.3 to 5.5 in absence and presence of essential oils and/or NaCl on the lag time and mean generation time of the bacteria at 370C, were carried out and results were determined showed that, combination of low pH and essential oil at 370C had additive effects against the test micro-organisms. The combination of 1.2 % (w/v) of NaCl and clove essential oil at 0.0325% (v/v) was effective against E. coli. The use of concentrations less than MIC in combination with low pH and or NaCl has the potential of being used as an alternative to “traditional food preservatives".