Nanoantimicrobials: An Emerging Technological Approach in Food Preservation

Nanoantimicrobials: An Emerging Technological Approach in Food Preservation

Navneet Kaur
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1924-0.ch008
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One of the major issues food technologists deal with is food preservation and safety. Growth of micro-organisms in food poses risk to its quality and safety. Moreover, resistance of food spoilage micro-organisms against various chemical food preservatives has led to an emergence of novel antimicrobial agents with improved action and low rates of microbial resistance. Development in nanotechnology has led to the production of nanoparticles that are not only safe but also effective to resolve the problem of microbial resistance. Nanoantimicrobials have shown improved bioactive performances and controlled toxicity to human beings. They are steadily gaining popularity and the trend will continue in coming years. The chapter gives a comprehensive view of nanoantimicrobials of organic and inorganic origin, various mechanisms adopted by these nanoparticles for the destruction of micro-organisms, factors affecting anti-microbial activities of these particles along with their applications in various fields of food technology.
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Background Of Nanoantimicrobials

Use of metals as antimicrobial agents dates back thousands of years and Egyptians were the first to utilize astringent properties of copper and its salts. Similarly, the use of copper and silver in food preservation and in the disinfection of water is well documented by Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, Persian kings, Phoenicians, and Romans (Gold et al., 2018). Metal compounds were used as antimicrobial agents in the 20th century which were then taken over by organic antibiotics in the mid-20th century. Then, about 10 years ago, a fascinating fact was discovered that revealed the efficiency of metals as anti-biofouling agents. This was an important discovery as biofilms show antimicrobial resistance. In addition, metals were also found potent against persister cells, which are the temporarily inactive states of regular cells, and show resistance to antibiotics (Turner, 2017). The most popular metal in history is silver, which was used to restrain the proliferation of microorganism-induced disease in humans by incorporating it into daily stuff. The first evidence of the therapeutic properties of silver precedes the Han Dynasty in China around 1500 B.C.E. The Phoenician, Macedonian, and Persian empires used silver vessels and plates for food and drinks (Sim et al., 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Hyperthermia: Hyperthermia may be defined as the process in which the body temperature is increased beyond normal.

Nanotechnology: Branch of science and technology dealing with objects at nanometre scale (1-100 nm).

Zeta Potential: Zeta potential may be defined as the charge which is formed between the interfacial surface of two mediums such as between solid and liquid surface due to potential difference between them.

Nanomaterials: Nanomaterials may be defined as materials or objects in the range of 1-100 nm in a single dimension.

Biocidal: Any product or chemical substance which exerts detrimental, destructive, or damaging effect on dangerous organisms is called biocidal.

Nanoantimicrobials/Nanoantibiotics: Nanoantimicrobials or nanoantibiotics are nanomaterials or nanoparticles which exhibit antimicrobial activity or might enhance the activity of encapsulated antimicrobial agent.

Biofouling: Biofouling involves building up of benthic creatures such as microorganisms, plants, algae, or animals over aquatic and submerged surfaces. It is a nasty phenomenon.

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