Use of Essential Oils in Bioactive Edible Coatings: A Review
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- Sánchez-González, L., Vargas, M., González-Martínez, C. et al. Food Eng. Rev. (2011) 3: 1. doi:10.1007/s12393-010-9031-3
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Antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of essential oils have previously been extensively reviewed. The mechanisms of action of essential oils have not been clearly identified but they seem to be related with their hydrophobic nature. Applying these natural compounds in the food industry could be a potential alternative, but its application costs and other problems, such as their intense aroma and potential toxicity, limit their use in the area of food preservation. An interesting strategy to reduce doses of essential oils while maintaining their effectiveness could be the incorporation of these natural compounds into edible/biodegradable films. This review discusses the use of essential oils as natural antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds to obtain bioactive films or coatings. The advantages and limitations are also reviewed.