ISSN 0975-6299


Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Meerut Institute of Engineering and Technology, Meerut- 250005, U.P., India *Corresponding Author

Natural preservatives are the chemical agents derived from plants, animals, microbes and their metabolites that prevent the decomposition of products by any means. The mode of action of these natural preservatives is inhibition of microbial growth, oxidation and certain enzymatic reactions occurring in the foodstuffs. This review limelight various naturally derived constituents such as essential oils, flavonoids, phenolic compound, microbial metabolites and antimicrobial constituents of other foods that possesses the preserving action. These natural preservatives are gaining importance in recent years as they have little or no harmful effects. Currently pharmaceutical and food industries are emphasizing more on this scenario. This review details the methods of bio preservation to evaluate their efficacy in extending the shelf life and improving the microbial safety of pharmaceutical and food products.

Natural preservatives, antibacterial, antioxidant, antimicrobial, herbs, spices

A growing awareness among consumers towards the health aspects has increased their interest on natural products. As an alternative to certain disadvantages associated with chemical preservatives, industries are paying more emphasis on the use of natural preservatives. Utilization of natural preservatives has rendered foods with high nutritional value, free from chemical preservatives and adequate 1-3 microbiological safety . The term preservative is defined as a natural or synthetic chemical agent that prevents decomposition by microbial growth or any undesirable chemical change in finished P - 601 products. They are added to various products to retard their spoilage, discoloration or contamination by micro organisms. Instead they help them retain their color, texture, flavor and nutritional value 4. Types of preservatives : Preservatives can be categorized into two types based upon their source of origin: 1. Artificial preservatives: These are a group of synthetic chemical substances that prevents spoilage and contamination of finished Pharmacognosy

Family: Rutaceae Part used: Fruit. Essential oil also shows antifungal activity. cassia Blume. Cinnamon Botanical name: Cinnamomum verum J. Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Listeria monocytogenes. flavonoids. 3.ISSN 0975-6299 products by micro organisms. sulfites. 4. Plant based preservatives Certain aromatic constituents are present in plants for protection and perpetuation of their species. These include essential oil constituents. floral water and essential oils Chemical constituent as preservative: Gammaterpinene. 2. nature and concentration of herb/spice. phenolic compounds. Natural preservatives: These are the chemical constituents extracted from natural sources that offer intrinsic ability to protect products against microbial growth. amara (bitter orange). The brief description of these herbs/spices as natural preservatives is as follows: 1. and antioxidant property 1. Salmonella enterica. The preservative activity of www. The natural preservatives have been categorized into four further types: • Plant derived products as preservatives (herbs and spices) • Animal derived products as preservatives (lard) • Certain microbes and/or their metabolites (bacteriocins) • Certain antimicrobial constituents of other foods (lysozyme. Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia. Herbs have been used as flavoring agents and preservatives due to their antimicrobial activity against certain pathogens. molds or fungi by creating an environment hostile to them. Sweet orange Botanical name: Citrus aurantium var.ijpbs. etc. Herbs and spices contain volatile chemicals that are used in the production of preservatives via distillation and enzymatic action. 7. Clove Botanical name: Syzygium aromaticum Family: Myrtacea Part used: Dried flower buds (clove oil is distilled from this plant part) Chemical constituent as preservative: Eugenol Preservative action: Clove oil shows antibacterial activity against Gram-negative anaerobic bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis.1/Issue-4/Oct-Dec. These natural herbs are used in the form of powder. Aspergillus and Penicillium genera. propyl gallate and potassium sorbate. etc. extracts or essential oils to check the microbial growth. dried outer peel of the ripe fruit.S. Antioxidants: They inhibit the oxidation of products. Some examples of these preservatives include nitrates. Citrus oils also contain natural antioxidants which inhibit oxidation of products 13-15. alpha-terpinene. conalbumen. yeasts. avidin. Presl (also known as C. It is also effective against species such as Eurotium. Third type blocks the natural ripening and enzymatic processes that occur in foodstuffs after harvest P . Pharmacognosy . 2. bitter substances Preservative action: It shows antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. neohesperidin. sodium benzoate. hesperidin. Escherichia coli.2010 these natural herbs/ spices depends on the type of test organism. terpinolene.602 Vol.) Natural preservatives can also be categorized into three general types based upon their mode of action 5-7: Antimicrobials: They inhibit the growth of bacteria. zeylanicum Nees) and C. Eugenol also exhibit antioxidant activity 8-12. essential oil. dulcis (sweet orange) and Citrus aurantium var. This aroma in plant exists as a precursor that gets decomposed by enzymes during plant tissue damage creating an antibacterial aroma.

2010 Chemical constituent as preservative: Phenolics and alkaloids Preservative action: The presence of phenolics in cocoa possesses antioxidant activity thus preventing the need for added preservatives 2628 . vitamins. Candida albicans.) / Aloe barbadensis (Mill. herbariorum. 5. Streptococcus faecalis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. P . niger and Penicillium corylophilum 16-19. 9. aloe-emodin. C. E. steatulytica and C. A.1/Issue-4/Oct-Dec. rubrum. Proteus spp. tropicalis 29-31.603 . Saccharomyces cerevisia. Cocoa Botanical name: Theobroma cacao Family: Sterculiaceae Part used: Seeds from the pods of the cacao tree Vol. Klebsiella pneumoniae. pungent phenolic compounds. Salmonella enterica.ijpbs. Chemical constituent as preservative: Cinnamaldehyde.ISSN 0975-6299 Family: Lauraceae Part used: Dried inner bark of shoot or trunk freed from underlying parenchyma of C. E. C. Albizia Botanical name: Albizia lebbeck Family: Fabaceae Part used: Leaves and stem bark Chemical constituent as preservative: Albiziasaponins A. E. 6. coli 22-25. verum and outer cork of C. Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Candida shehata. 8. procyanidins Preservative action: It possesses antifungal and antibacterial action 20. repens. Escherichia coli. coli. purpurea and E. leaf and aerial parts Chemical constituent as preservative: Essential oils. It exhibits antibacterial and fungicidal activity against Bacillus subtilis. epicatechin. monocytogenes. 21. Aloe vera Botanical name: Aloe vera (L. gingerols Preservative action: Ginger shows significant antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. eugenol. Aspergillus flavus. 1. pneumoniae and Haemophilus. Streptococcus pyogenes. carophyllene. Streptococcus pyogenes. 4. L. 7. C.. polyacetylenes Preservative action: It exhibits significant antioxidant activity and antifungal activity against Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Bacillus subtilis Pharmacognosy www. pallida Family: Compositae Part used: Root.) Family: Aloeaceae Part used: leaf Chemical constituent as preservative: Anthraquinone glycosides: aloin. E. Allicin is chiefly responsible for garlic’s antimicrobial activity against a wide range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria such as E.8 cineole Preservative action: As a natural food preservative it possesses antioxidant and wide range of antimicrobial and fungicidal properties that forms a theoretical basis for its use. albicans. C. allicin and ajoene Preservative action: Garlic has strong antioxidant activity and is capable of directly scavenging free radicals. Staphylococcus aureus and E. barbaloin and emodin Preservative action: It shows antioxidant and antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. cassia Blume. Echinacea Botanical name: E. B. kefyr. It also shows antifungal activity against Candida albicans 31-34. angustifolia. Garlic Botanical name: Allium sativum Family: Liliaceae Part used: bulb and oil from the bulb Chemical constituent as preservative: alliin. Ginger Botanical name: Zingiber officinale Roscoe Family: Zingiberaceae Part used: Rhizome Chemical constituent as preservative: Essential oils. Eurotium amstelodami. Staphylococcus aureus.

Listeria monocytogenes. Family: Labiatae Part used: Flower Chemical constituent as preservative: Essential P . 16. 11. Salmonella enteritidis. Vol. It is also fungicidal and Pharmacognosy www. dentata. Staphylococcus aureus. L. Lavender Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia. licochalcone A. linalyl acetate Preservative action: Lavender oil has antibacterial and antifungal activity 47-50. latifolia.ijpbs. Shigella sonnei. 39. Grapeseed extract Botanical name: Vitis vinifera Family: Vitaceae Part used: Seeds. • High osmolarity: High sugar (sometimes upto 80%) and low water content reduces the growth of microbes. Family: Leguminosae Part used: Root and stolon Chemical constituent as preservative: Glycyrrhizin. polyphenolic compounds (eriocitrin. Lipolygalifolium. flavonoids. linalool. 10. isomenthone). Salmonella typhimurium. L.2010 13. coli. Guarana Botanical name: Paullinia cupana Family: Sapindaceae Part used: Seeds Chemical constituent as preservative: Phenolic compounds Preservative action: Ethanolic extract of guarana shows antibacterial effect against E. Honey Source: Obtained from several plant species such as tea trees Leptospermum scoparium. Staphylococcus aureus. stoechas. coli. etc. Myrrh Botanical name: Commiphora molmol Family: Burseraceae Part used: Gum resin. It also exerts significant direct and indirect antioxidant effect 35-37. Staphylococcus aureus. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans 53. phenolic compounds (glicoisoflavonone and glicophenone). • Low pH: Acidic nature of honey retards the growth of certain bacteria such as E. Antibacterial effect of honey is due to various mechanisms: • Hydrogen peroxide content: It is naturally produced in honey and possesses antibacterial activity. Bacillus cereus and Streptococcus mutans 40-45. 15. 52. 14.604 . volatile oil Preservative action: A number of constituents present in liquorice have antibacterial and antioxidant effect 51. It also shows antioxidant activity 46. rosmarinic acid and luteolin-7-O-rutinoside). resveratrol Preservative action: It possesses strong antioxidant activity 38. Salmonella typhimurium. 12. L. coli. kaempferol. coli. 54. L. pubescens. Chemical constituents as preservative: Phenolic compounds such as p-coumaric acid. Staphylococcus aureus. flavonoid compounds Preservative action: Peppermint oil has been shown to have significant antibacterial activity against Helicobactor pylori. volatile oil Preservative action: Myrrh possesses antibacterial and antifungal activity against E. namely the flavonoids. Shigella sonnei and Micrococcus flavus.1/Issue-4/Oct-Dec. render it a good source of antioxidants and antibacterial activity. Peppermint Botanical name: Mentha piperita Family: Labiatae Part used: Leaf or stem Chemical constituent as preservative: Essential oil (menthone.ISSN 0975-6299 and E. Listeria monocytogenes. Liquorice Botanical name: Glycyrrhiza glabra L. grape skins Chemical constituent as preservative: Proanthocyanidins. isoflavones. coli. E. chrysin. stem and leaves Chemical constituent as preservative: Oleogum-resin. apigenin Preservative action: The phenolic compounds found in honey.

66 . Apart from this it is used as an antimicrobial for preserving food and antifungal activity against aspergillus and aflatoxin 67. cineol. Klebsiella pneumoniae. leaves and bark Chemical constituent as preservative: Steroidal lactones. and Candida albicans 63. 23. essential oil Preservative action: Turmeric has significant antioxidant activity. Thyme Botanical name: Thymus vulgaris www. thymol. Aspergillus niger. flavonoids. carnosol. eugenol. Micrococcus P .ijpbs. 68. Salmonella spp.. flavonoids.. Microsporum canis. vitamin C Preservative action: Sage has antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus.ISSN 0975-6299 fungistatic with its activity against Trichophyton tonsurans and Candida albicans. E.605 Vol. diterpenoid bitter substances. Klebsiella pneumoniae.. Pleurotus ostreatus. It is found to have antifungal activity against Allescheria boydii. Rasna Botanical name: Alpinia galanga Family: Zingiberaceae Part used: Dried rhizomes Pharmacognosy . Bacillus anthracis. E. Enterococcus spp. Tea tree oil Botanical name: Melaleuca alternifolia Family: Myrtaceae Part used: Leaves and branches Chemical constituent as preservative: Essential oil Preservative action: It has activity against a range of yeasts. Sage extracts have antioxidant effect 60-62. 17. coli. thujol. Nigrospora oryzae.coli and Salmonella typhimurium. Salmonella typhi. carnosic acid Preservative action: It has strong antioxidant activity and is widely used to preserve food and cosmetics. Streptococcus pyogenes. 59. phenolic compounds.1/Issue-4/Oct-Dec. E. coli. It has antibacterial activity against a variety of bacteria including Helicobactor pylori and Staphylococcus aureus 58. Listeria monocytogenes. 19. S. essential oils Preservative action: It has significant antioxidant activity. 20. Pseudomonas aeruginosa.2010 Family: Labiatae Part used: Leaves and flowering tops Chemical constituent as preservative: Volatile oils. and Candida albicans 65. Propionibacterium acnes. 18. 64. Klebsiella ozanae. sometimes berry. Staphylococcus spp. camphor).. Salmonella enteridis. It has been shown to have antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity 55-57. flavonoids. Trichomonas vaginalis. It shows antibacterial effect against Staphylococcus aureus. rosmarinic acid Preservative action: It has antibacterial and antifungal activity against Clostridium botulinum. Haemophilus influenzae. lavandulaefolia Family: Labiatae Part used: Leaf Chemical constituent as preservative: Essential oil (thujone. Withania Botanical name: Withania somnifera Family: Solanaceae Part used: Primarily root. eugenol. 22. bacteria and fungi such as Corynebacterium spp. It has antifungal activity against Candida albicans.. Turmeric Botanical name: Curcuma longa Family: Zingiberaceae Part used: Dried secondary rhizome Chemical constituent as preservative: Phenolic curcuminoids (curcumin). Stachybotrys atra. Shigella sonnei and Bacillus subtilis. Staphylococcus aureus. Bacillus subtilis. Drechsiera rostrata and Epidermophyton floccosum 69-71. 21. Rosemary Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis Family: Labiatae Part used: Fresh or dried leaf Chemical constituent as preservative: Phenolic acids. flavonoids. Curvularia lunata. Sage Botanical name: Salvia officinalis.

coleonol C. Green tea Botanical name: Camellia sinensis Family: Theaceae Part used: Leaf Chemical constituent as preservative: Polyphenols predominantly flavonoids Preservative action: It shows antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus spp. floccosum 79.606 Pharmacognosy . Staphylococcus aureus. 73. 85. margolonone Preservative action: It shows antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. charantins.2010 Microsporum spp. bochmerd Preservative action: It shows significant antibacterial activity 72. Neem Botanical name: Azadirachta indica Family: Meliaceae Part used: Leaves and seeds Chemical constituent as preservative: Limonoids. phenolic acids. 29. 80. 86 tuberculosis . Steptococcus spp. fixed oil Preservative action: It shows antibacterial activity against E. flavonoids. Coleus oil Botanical name: Coleus forskohlii Family: Labiatae Part used: Dried roots Chemical constituent as preservative: Bornyl acetate... margolone.. Trichophyton spp. 76. It is used as a preservative in topical preparations 77. labdane diterpenoids Preservative action: It shows antimicrobial activity against Propionibacterium acnes.ISSN 0975-6299 Chemical constituent as preservative: Oily pungent galangol. Vol. Salmonella paratyphi. www. Streptomyces griseus. nimbin. 26. Staphylococcus epidermidis and Candida albicans. 24. 25. capsanthin Preservative action: It shows antimicrobial activity 75. 30. azadirachtin. Tulsi Botanical name: Ocimum sanctum Family: Labiatae Part used: Dried and fresh leaves Chemical constituent as preservative: Volatile oil containing eugenol Preservative action: The oil is antibacterial and antifungal in activity 74. alpinol. deoxycoleonol. It has strong antioxidant activity 31. 27. coleonol B.. 31. 81-83. Bitter melon Botanical name: Momordica charantia Family: Cucurbitaceae Part used: Leaves. Shigella dysenterae. Bilberry Botanical name: Vaccinium myrtillus Family: Ericaceae Part used: Dried ripe and fresh fruit Chemical constituent as preservative: Astragalin. and Epidermaphyton 28. Andrographis Botanical name: Andrographis paniculata Family: Acanthaceae Part used: Leaves. Capsicum Botanical name: Capsicum frutescense Family: Solanaceae Part used: Dried ripe fruits Chemical constituent as preservative: Fixed oil. Salmonella typhosa. coli and Helicobacter pylori. aerial parts Chemical constituent as preservative: P . flavonols. resveratrol Preservative action: It shows antimicrobial and antioxidant benefits 87-90. sorghumol. E. galangin. 78. capsaicin. nimbidin. Helicobacter pylori and Mycobacterium 31.ijpbs. coli. fruit Chemical constituent as preservative: Momordicins.1/Issue-4/Oct-Dec. xanthones Preservative action: It shows significant antibacterial and antifungal activity against certain pathogenic organisms 84.

Antibiotics are metabolic products of these microbes which show their action against various other harmful microbial species. palmitin Preservative action: It is used as a preservative 68 . It is generally regarded as safe for preservation of meat and poultry products due to its bactericidal effect on a wide range of spoilage bacteria such as Clostridium tyrobutyricum 92. Pharmacognosy www. These secretions are produced outside or inside their body and may have certain protective functions. ε-Polylysine Microbiological source: Streptomyces albulus Chemical nature: Polypeptide Preservative action: It is used as a food preservative and inhibits the growth of Grampositive and Gram-negative bacteria. Antimicrobial constituent of other foods as preservatives Various enzymatic. 1. 4. Fermentate: It is a product obtained from a red mold species. 1.1/Issue-4/Oct-Dec. molds.ijpbs. yeasts. Natamycin (pimaricin) Microbiological source: Streptomyces natalensis Preservative action: It is used as a preservative of meat products inhibiting the growth of yeast and molds 91. Microbes or their metabolites based preservatives Microbes are organisms that are invisible to naked eyes. Monascus purpureus. Lactoferrin: It is a milk protein found its use in the preservation of fresh beef against certain pathogenic bacteria 92. Nisin Biological source: Lactobacillus lactis Chemical nature: Polypeptide Preservative action: Nisin is used to inhibit the growth of various bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum in many dairy and meat products 91. Family: Suidae Chemical constituent as preservative: Olein. Lactic acid Lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid which lowers the pH and hence can be used for preservation of meat products. etc 91. Lard Biological source: It is the purified internal fat obtained from the abdomen of hog Sus scrofa Linn. They also produce certain metabolites during their growth which suppresses the growth of other pathogenic bacteria 92. stearin. Vol. cultivated on starch containing substrates such as rice. 5. Others also produce certain products used as preservatives in various food and pharmaceutical preparations as mentioned below: 1. 2. 92. Pullulan Microbiological source: Aureobasidium pullulans Chemical nature: Water soluble polysaccharide Preservative action: It is used as a preservative for various pharmaceutical products 91. They too produce certain metabolites during their life cycle which are used in various applications in pharmaceutical and food industries. Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas P . They may both be harmful (Helicobacter pylori) as well as beneficial for human health (Escherichia coli).2010 3. It is used as a preservative in meat products. proteinous and microbial products isolated from foods can also be used as natural preservatives. 92. 3. Streptococcus. Lysozyme: It is an enzyme derived from egg white. 2.607 .ISSN 0975-6299 Animal based preservatives Certain animal secretions act as a source of preservation either in their crude form or after being processed to suitable form. It shows antimicrobial effect against Bacillus.

9.ISSN 0975-6299 Vol. Honey: Undiluted form of honey is used as a natural preservative against bacterial and fungal growth. Alcohol: The naturally produced fermentation grade alcohol is used as a natural preservative in cosmetic preparations such as toners. etc. 4. Dairy products. CONCLUSION Natural preservatives have gained momentum in pharmaceutical as well as food industries owing to their ability to prolong the shelf life of products through antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. The concept of bio preservation and bio protection of food products is gaining importance in recent years. 5. 3. and standardization of application and methods of bio preservatives to evaluate their efficacy in extending the shelf life and improving the microbial safety of pharmaceutical and food products. Chelation: Chelating agents such as ferulic acid obtained from rice bran is used to enhance the activity of natural preservative. It acts as a method of preservation of various food products such as jams. This reduces the chances of microbial growth.R. Sugar: High concentration of sugar inhibits the growth of certain pathogenic bacteria. Indian Food Packer.2010 NATURAL METHODS OF PRESERVATION 1. marmalades. 6. Dehydration: Dehydrating the product reduces the chances of growth of microbial growth hence safeguarding the product against degradation. vegetables.. As they are herbal in origin they have little or no harmful effects. There are many herbs and spices that are known to possess antimicrobial activity and are used as food preservative. characterization. Role of spices and their essential oils as preservatives and www. 8. REFERENCES 1. Heat: It is another natural form of preservation of products to prevent microbial P . 2.608 antimicrobial agents . Acidic pH creates an environment hostile to the growth of microorganisms. Anti-oxidation: Certain antioxidants such as tocopherol and ascorbic acid occur naturally in various plant sources and are used for their preservation activity 93. This has increased their market prospects in the pharmaceutical and food industry.A Review. This has opened the way for isolation. aftershaves and colognes. Acidifying: Low pH helps in establishing environment for the preservation of products. fruits can be preserved for a certain period of time via freezing. and Sethi V. Salting: Extreme levels of salt are effective in preservation of various food products through osmotic action. Freezing: It greatly reduces the chances of microbial growth thereby preserving the products for sufficient period of time. 7. certain sweet pickles. Certain vegetables can be preserved through salting to be used in off seasons.ijpbs. 25: 38-45. Meena M.1/Issue-4/Oct-Dec. 10. pharmaceuticals (vaccines). Various pickles prepared traditionally at home were sun dried to remove the moisture. Vinegar is prepared through one of this process where acidic pH favors its production but simultaneously inhibits the growth of harmful microbes. (1997) Pharmacognosy .

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