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Use of Plant Antimicrobials for Food Preservation

Authors: Oladotun A. Fatoki, Deborah A. Onifade


Spoilage occurs in plant produce due to the action of field and storage microorganisms. The conditions of storage can also cause physiological spoilage. Various methods exist to ensure that these food substances maintain their quality long after harvesting. However, many of these methods either fail to keep the plant for the required period or predispose the plant to other spoilage risks. The major shortcoming posed by the use of many antimicrobials is the chemical residues it deposits in the food substance. The use of plants in preservation has been in use for a long period, though little understood then, it served its purposes. A better understanding of the roles of these plant parts in increasing the shelf life of farm produce has helped in the creation of more effective and safer means of pest and microbial control. This can be extended to plants that have not been used for these purposes initially. Microbial sources should also be investigated as these have provided cheaper sources of secondary metabolites.

Keywords: Phytochemicals, Antimicrobials, Food preservation

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