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Emerging Usage of Natural Plant-Based Food Preservative

Published Date | 2018 September 12

Scientists from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), have discovered a plant-based food preservative that is a healthier option over the artificial preservatives
Singapore:  The NTU research team of Singapore, led by Professor William Chen, Director of NTU's Food Science & Technology programme have discovered an organic preservative that comprises a naturally-occurring substance, known as “flavonoids”, which have strong anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties, that the most important traits of preservatives in order to inhibit bacterial growth and keep food fresher for longer. This discovery is a resultant effect of on-going trend of healthy food additive options. Thus, it will have a positive impact on the growth of food additive market in the near future. The organic food preservative, “flavonoid”, is derived from a diverse group of phytonutrients that is found in nearly all vegetables and fruits that induce vivid colour in them, like onions, strawberries, kales and grapes. They are even considered as naturally occurring chemicals responsible for defending plants against herbivores, pests, pathogens, and even environmental stress like strong ultraviolet rays from sunshine. The effectiveness of Flavonoids is tested by the researchers on meat and fruit juice samples and it is been found that the organic preservative kept these samples fresh for two days without any refrigeration, as compared to commercial-grade artificial food preservatives. In addition to it, the test was conducted at room temperature where the other food samples added with artificial preservative got affected by bacteria contamination within six hours. The research is done to address the growing scientific evidence on harmful effects of artificial preservatives on body's long-term growth and development. As per the American Academy of Paediatrics’, which represents some 67,000 paediatricians in the United States, chemicals like nitrates and nitrites used in food preservatives especially for meat products can hinder thyroid hormone production which is essential for the regulation of metabolic processes, and has also been linked with gastrointestinal and nervous system cancers. According to the market insights of BlueWeave Consulting, the use of this organic food preservative, derived from plants and produced from food grade microbes, is 100% natural. Thus, it has the potential to open new ways in food preservation technologies, offering a low-cost solution for food and beverage industries, which in turn encourage a sustainable food production system to produce healthier food that can even stay fresh for longer time, mainly due to the emerging demand for processed and packaged food. According to an upcoming report of BlueWeave Consulting, on “Global Food Additive Market, 2024”, the global food additive market is growing over a CAGR of 5% within the forecast period of 2018-2024, owing to the rising demand for Processed food and Packaged food due to the rapid urbanisation and increasing disposable income, along with the other factors that boost food additive usage within the overall food and beverage industry. Moreover, the rising awareness for health and well-being has created the demand for healthy food additives. Thus, the organic food additives are increasingly used as compared to their artificial counterparts. Thus, there is significant growth opportunity for food additive business in the upcoming years.