How Plants Fight Food Microbes

In response to consumers’ growing desire to find natural options in processed foods, the industry is rethinking natural preservatives. 

Simona Birtic’s presentation looks at how plants fight food microbes and shares how one company has researched potential applications for botanical extracts. Birtic uncovers consumer data and provides examples of how plants have adapted to their environment to survive and thrive. 

So how can these observations inspire the development of more natural preservatives? Her team isolated and studied antimicrobials from plants and tested how they reacted against bacteria, yeasts, and molds. 

One standout performer was rosemary extract, and when combined with citrus extract the capacity to resist bacterial attacks was heightened. This synergistic pairing has been successfully applied to meat, provides the clean label consumers want, and doesn’t impact the taste or color of the product.

Originally presented at the IFTNEXT stage at IFT17 in Las Vegas, NV.