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Review
. 2013 Aug 16;166(1):1-14.
doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.05.026. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

Application of Plant Derived Compounds to Control Fungal Spoilage and Mycotoxin Production in Foods

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Review

Application of Plant Derived Compounds to Control Fungal Spoilage and Mycotoxin Production in Foods

Lucía da Cruz Cabral et al. Int J Food Microbiol. .

Abstract

Food decay by spoilage fungi causes considerable economic losses and constitutes a health risk for consumers due to the potential for fungi to produce mycotoxins. The indiscriminate use of synthetic antifungals has led to the development of resistant strains which has necessitated utilization of higher concentrations, with the consequent increase in toxic residues in food products. Numerous studies have demonstrated that plant extracts contain diverse bioactive components that can control mould growth. The metabolites produced by plants are a promising alternative because plants generate a wide variety of compounds, either as part of their development or in response to stress or pathogen attack. The aim of this article is to summarize the results from the literature on in vitro and in vivo experiments regarding the effects of plant-derived products for controlling fungal growth. Data from research work on the mode of action of these metabolites inside the fungal cell and the influence of abiotic external factors such as pH and temperature are also covered in the present review. Furthermore, an analysis on how the stress factor derived from the presence of plant extracts and essential oils affects secondary metabolism of the fungus, specifically mycotoxin synthesis, is developed. Finally, the effectiveness of using plant-derived compounds in combination with other natural antimicrobials and its application in food using novel technologies is discussed.

Keywords: Antifungal; Essential oils; Food; Plant extracts.

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