Preservatives are used to ensure the desired microbiological shelf life. There are some natural substances that can be used in some applications to inhibit bacteria, yeasts and fungi in their growth. Depending on the application, there are specific versions that are set around salt, glucose or lactose, and therefore easy to mix and dissolve. They must be declared as ‘preservative (active substance and/or E number)’. There is strict legislation about what preservatives are allowed in each type of product.
- Buffered acetic acid, E262, allergen-free, widely applicable, mild taste, pH < 5.5, inhibits e.g. Gram+, Clostridium, Listeria, Staph. aureus
- Chitosan, polysaccharide from mushrooms or shrimp, clean label, forms an elastic microfilm around fruit and vegetables, prevents contamination
- Nisine: peptide from lactate, E234, inhibits Gram+, Lactic acid bacteria, Listeria, e.g. applied in mature cheese and liquid egg
- Natamycine: antibiotic from bacteria, E235, vegan, only inhibits yeasts and moulds, e.g. applied in the rind of cheese and dry sausage