Antimicrobial Additives to Foods


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Antimicrobials added to foods

Dr. View Mahmut's Full Profile

The deterioration of food as a result of microbial growth has occupied mankind since ancient times. To protect foods from germs, such as sugar, salt, spices, such as food, which are already food themselves and wood smoke, as new products are released to the market today, the protection began to become more complex.

Antimicrobial agents are substances which are used to protect foods against the growth of microbes. Among them are vinegar that we all know well, acidic substances such as lemons, some organic acids that are not normally in our kitchen, their salts, sulfur dioxide, nitrites. In general, the way these substances prevent the growth of microbes is based on drying the food or increasing the acidity of the food.

The function of the substances such as salt and sugar in the food can be summarized as reducing the water activity of the food they are added to so as not to leave the water that the microbe can use. However, in foods with added salt or sugar, we can prevent bacterial growth in part, but we cannot completely prevent microbes that can live in low water activities such as yeast-mold.

Other functions of salt (NaCl) other than the drying function are that the Cl ion in it is germicidal and removes the oxygen from the environment. Thus, oxygen-induced deterioration is prevented. The functions of salt and sugar to inhibit germ proliferation are directly related to the amount of added salt or sugar.

The use of acids in food preservation: As a result of fermentation, acids are produced in many foods and they have a protective effect against microbes.

Once the protective effect of the acids in food has been recognized, their addition to the food has begun to be regulated by various regulations and regulations. Below are some of these additives that are allowed in certain amounts to be added to food and beverages.

1. Acetic acid (E260): Can be used in all foodstuffs that may be suitable for taste. The upper limit to be added is the size permitted by GMP.

2. Lactic acid (E270): In cocoa and chocolate products, in fruit juices, in frozen foods and in shellfish without pretreatment; the upper limit is the size permitted by GMP.

3. Ascorbic acid (E300): Commonly known form of vitamin C. In all foodstuffs, GMP is used.

4. Fumaric acid (E297): Used in confectionery and chewing gum products. Depending on the product, a maximum of 1-4 grams is allowed in 1 kilogram.

5. Malic acid (E296): It is used in all foods except pineapple juice.

6. Citric acid (E330): It is allowed to 3-5 grams per liter of fruit juices and nectars.

7. Gluconic acid (E574): Used in all foodstuffs.

8. Benzoic acid (E210 / E211): It is used in salted fruit juices to delay spoilage caused by fermentation and to salt fish.

9. Sulfur Dioxide (E220): It is used both as an antimicrobial and a colorant. The concentration given depends on the product.

10. Carbonic acid: (E290): It is added to the carbonated beverages at the rate permitted by GMP.

13. Boric acid (284): 4 grams is added to the caviar in kg.

14. Sodium nitrate (E251): Cured meat products and canned food.

15. Antioxidants: It is used to prevent oxidation and deterioration.

What is GMP?

Every company using additives must comply with the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), ie the Good Manufacturing Practices.