Natural biosurfactants: the future of eco-friendly meat preservation

Meat and meat products, crucial for human nutrition, are packed with high-quality proteins, essential amino acids, and vitamins. However, they are highly perishable, vulnerable to microbial contamination and oxidative damage that compromise their quality and shelf life.
Natural biosurfactants: Meat and meat products, crucial for human nutrition, are packed with high-quality proteins, essential amino acids, and vitamins. [Newswise]
Natural biosurfactants: Meat and meat products, crucial for human nutrition, are packed with high-quality proteins, essential amino acids, and vitamins. [Newswise]

Natural biosurfactants: Meat and meat products, crucial for human nutrition, are packed with high-quality proteins, essential amino acids, and vitamins. However, they are highly perishable, vulnerable to microbial contamination and oxidative damage that compromise their quality and shelf life. Traditional preservation methods include refrigeration, advanced packaging, and chemical preservatives. But due to growing health and environmental concerns, there is a shift toward natural preservatives that safely extend shelf life and ensure consumer satisfaction.

A new review (DOI: 10.3934/agrfood.2024014) published in the AIMS Agriculture and Food published in AIMS Agriculture and Food on February 4, 2024, reveals that biosurfactants, naturally derived agents known for their surface-active properties, offer significant benefits in meat preservation. These agents improve shelf life and reduce contamination risks without relying on synthetic preservatives.

The study highlights the vulnerability of muscle foods, like meat and meat products, to microbial contamination and chemical changes that degrade quality. Biosurfactants, with their antimicrobial, antioxidant, and emulsifying properties, have emerged as effective natural alternatives to traditional preservatives, extending the shelf life of these products by inhibiting pathogen growth and preventing oxidation. Extensive research demonstrates that biosurfactants significantly reduce spoilage and improve meat quality. Additionally, these compounds are eco-friendly, aligning with consumer demand for sustainable, clean-label food products. They offer a safer preservation method that enhances texture and sensory qualities in emulsion-based meat products, positioning biosurfactants as a sustainable solution in food safety and industry practices.

Dr. Mohammed Gagaoua, a lead researcher in the study from INRAE, Institut Agro, comments, "Biosurfactants not only extend the shelf life of meat products but also enhance their safety and quality by inhibiting harmful microbes and preventing oxidation. This research opens new avenues for the food industry to adopt greener and more consumer-friendly preservation methods."

The application of biosurfactants in meat preservation can drastically reduce reliance on chemical preservatives, aligning with the growing consumer demand for natural and safe food products. Moreover, the adoption of biosurfactants can lead to enhanced food safety standards, potentially reducing foodborne illnesses and spoilage-related losses. Newswise/SP

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