Perspective Uses of Essential Oils in Functional Foods and Antimicrobial Packaging Material

Perspective Uses of Essential Oils in Functional Foods and Antimicrobial Packaging Material

Tripti Malik (Dolphin (P.G.) Institute of Biomedical and Natural Sciences, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0607-2.ch010
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Abstract

Functional foods are recently introduced to assure superior nutritional quality; contain biologically active compounds in defined amounts. These foods have to be effectively packaged and stored in order to prevent microbial spoilage and risk of food borne infections. Recently, food technologists and scientists are formulating the Essential Oil (EOs) containing functional foods. The antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties of EOs have been proved by a number of researchers. Health conscious consumers prefer natural additives, hence these volatile oils due to their green image can be safely used as a replacement of synthetic preservatives. The shelf life of functional foods can be improved by antimicrobial packaging incorporating EOs and their derivatives in the edible films and coatings. EOs can be easily fabricated as microencapsules and nanoparticles, which increases their stability and solubility. Hence EOs are considered as the most usable additives in future functional foods.
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Functional Foods

Newer food products such as nutraceuticals, medifoods and vitafoods; collectively termed as functional foods have now been designed and been included in the diet regimens of health conscious consumers (Azzurra & Paola, 2009). Functional foods are the foods and food components that provide allied health benefits in addition to the basic nutrition. It also includes conventional foods, fortified, enriched or enhanced foods and dietary supplements (Clydesdale, 2004). A plethora of these foods are available in the market; their consumption is not only required for the maintenance of health. In addition to the benefits to health, these foods have gained popularity because of their convenience (Frewer et al., 2003).

The consumption of functional foods has enormously increased worldwide and is highly preferred over with the treatment of diseases (Castro et al., 2005). Functional foods which contain probiotics and prebiotics can be used in the prevention and treatment of several diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, hypertension (Alissa and Ferns, 2012) as well as infectious diseases (Singh & Bhatia, 2011).

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