Control of Pathogenic and Spoilage Microorganisms in Fresh-cut Fruits and Fruit Juices by Traditional and Alternative Natural Antimicrobials
Traditional antimicrobials have been extensively used for many years. However, consumers are currently demanding wholesome, fresh-like, and safe foods without addition of chemically synthesized preservatives. The application of novel natural antimicrobials to assure safety of fresh-cut fruits and unpasteurized juices while preventing quality loss is a promising alternative. The effectiveness of these natural substances added to fruit derivatives has been studied by different researchers. Antimicrobials of animal (lactoperoxidase, lysozyme, and chitosan), plant (essential oils, aldehydes, esters, herbs, and spices), and microbial origin (nisin) can be used to effectively reduce pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms in fresh-cut fruits and fruit juices. Nevertheless, the use of these compounds at a commercial level is still limited due to several factors such as impact on sensory attributes or, in some cases, regulatory issues concerning their use. Therefore, extensive research on the effects of each antimicrobial on food sensory characteristics is still needed so that antimicrobial substances of natural origin can be regarded as feasible alternatives to synthetic ones.