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Food safety is a global priority and one of the major objectives of the food industry due to high incidence of spoilage microorganisms that cause a risk after consumption. The food industry continues to examine ways to reduce the use of traditional chemical preservatives, some of which have been not linked with microbial resistance and health risks, while improving quality and food safety by controlling the growth of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms. Several studies demonstrated the preservative action of species and their EOs through the effective inhibition of antimicrobial growth.

Bakery products, especially bread, are intermediate moisture content products and highly perishable. The most common forms of bread deterioration are moisture loss and microbiological spoilage. The study of food borne molds has gained importance over the last few years. This is mainly due not only to the huge economic losses that food industry must face every year, but also to the potential risk of mycotoxin production, derived from mold contamination. Molds can be found in a wide range of food products such as fruits, vegetables, cereals and legumes. In addition, some species are able to produce secondary metabolites which can pose a serious health risk. Bread is its various forms one of the most important dietary staples all over the world. There are numerous types of bread, including national and regional variations as well as great variety of special bread such as mal loaves, soda, milk and fruited bread, which are popular items consumed as a snack or a meal worldwide.

Molds are known to spoil bread, leading to huge economic losses and reduce safety. Fungal spoilage of wheat bread is mainly due to Penicillium spp., although other fungi can also make bread unsuitable for human consumption. In bread and other bakery products, the replacement of chemical preservatives. Microbiological spoilage of bread is primarily an issue for bread products intended to be stored at room temperature for a longer period than the time needed to be rejected because of salting. Variations can occur due to differences in fermentation and production of bread. Spoilage of bread can also be caused by chalk yeast. These are spoilage yeast which cause chalk mold defects on food. They are most common on sliced bread and on rye bread. Chemical preservation of bread is mainly done by propionic acid and its salt. Besides chemical preservation, packaging and storage can also be used to control the growth of post-baking contaminants. Modified atmosphere packaging can help with the reduction or total elimination of chemical preservatives in bread products. Bakery products get deteriorate due to physical, chemical and microbiological factors. Major microbiological loss of bakery products is due to mold growth and problems that are associated with it.

For preservation of spoilage in bakery products natural preservatives are better alternative than artificial preservatives. Essential oil can be natural alternative for chemical preservatives, which is mainly extracted from plant material such as leaves, flowers, buds, twigs, bark, herbs, fruits and roots. Essential oils had showed antibacterial and antifungal activity against many food spoiling bacteria and fungus. Essential oils were known to exhibit antifungal activity against the bread spoilage fungi too.

Spoilage and Pathogenic Microbes in Bread

Variations can occur due to differences in fermentation and production of bread. Mold growth is by far the most important shelf-life limiting factor of bread products, with Penicillium spp. and Aspergillus spp. Being the most dominant species mold growth, the formation of the spore forming bacterium Bacillus subtilis, present in a raw-bakery materials, which is reason for the rejection of bread product. Spoilage of bread can also cause by chalk yeast. These are spoilage yeast which cause chalk mold defects on food (dust type spots). Most common on sliced bread and on rye bread. There are 24 types of chalk molds like Saccharomycopsis fibuligera, Hyphopichia burtonii, Zygosaccharomyces bailii and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Nikolajeva et al., 2015). Spoilage can also cause by non-chalk yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus responsible for early spoilage.

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Essential Oil and Mechanisms of Their Antimicrobial Activity

Approximately 3000 EOs have been discovered and only 300 of them have commercial importance. They are used in the food industry, as well as in pharmaceutical, agronomic and cosmetic industry. Identifying the most active antimicrobial compounds of essential oils is unwieldy, because essential oils are complex mixture of up to 45 different constituents, and the composition of a specific essential oil may vary depending on the season of harvest and method use to extract the oil. Essential oil constituents are a diver’s family of low molecular weight organic compounds with large differences in antimicrobial activity. The mode of action behind each constituent in the oils can reveal details of its antimicrobial properties that might be concealed when study in a mixture with many other compounds. Most study conceal the antimicrobial mode of action of oil constituents is perform on bacteria, while less is known about their action on yeast and molds. Gram-positive bacteria are generally more susceptible than the gram-negative bacteria. It is difficult to predict how susceptible a microorganism is and why the susceptibility varies from strain to strain. The diversity of essential oil constituents is enormous and presents a wide range of compounds. Some low or no efficiency against microorganisms while others are potent antimicrobials.

Mode of Application of Essential Oil in Various Bread

Direct Use of EOs in Bread

Very few articles have reported the direct use of essential oil in dough systems. This is assumed to result from the fact that potential antifungal activity of essential oils is partly lost during the heat treatment of baking (Teodoro et al., 2014). Essential oil particles are made by spray-drying modify starch and maltodextrin as coating materials. Many of the antimicrobial active components present in essential oils can undergo oxidization and volatilization during storage and baking, which can reduce the stability and efficacy of essential oils.

Application of EOs Sprays

Essential oil is known to have antimicrobial activity. In particular, spraying of essential oil on bread slices prove to be a promising preservation technique. Essential oil is able to reduce microbial growth, even if not significantly prove, it affected the secondary characteristics of the bread, color of crumb and crust, inducing crust character, taste, texture, and aroma (Salim-ur-Rehman and Nawaz, 2007). The antimicrobial efficacy of essential oil and its molecules is higher compare to when essential oil is dispersed in a food. This is mainly due to greater affinity of essential oil.

Limitations and Perspectives of Essential Oil Application

Some limitations can be recognized in their application due to the interaction of essential oil with food component such as fat, protein and carbohydrate, that can alive the antimicrobial effects of essential oils. Essential oils are usually expensive because its production is very costly. It is depended on the type of plant used, method of oil extraction and the labor charge and energy cost. Essential oils and its active components are active against bacteria and fungi.


Essential oils from different sources can be exploited as the natural additives in the foods. The unique and undesirable fragrances of essential oils, which can limit their use in food. Essential oils can be widely used without any negative effect on properties of food. In this paper the use of essential oils and their main antifungal components for food preservation due to the fact essential oils contain volatile compounds with potential strong antifungal activity. Essential oil was sprayed on all the slices of breads, proved to be effective inhibitory treatment against the bacterial and fungal spoilage of bread.


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