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Natural Food Preservatives Materials-Terpenes

Natural Food Preservatives Materials-Terpenes

By: Foreverest-Nora

Bacterial contamination and lipid oxidation are the main reasons for the degradations of food quality and the shortening of shelf life. Synthetic preservatives have been used in the food industry for a long time to reduce bacterial contamination, inhibit lipid oxidation, extend shelf life and improve food quality. As the improvement of people living standard, the concerning about the safety of synthetic preservatives have promoted the development of natural food preservatives.

terpenes-food activity

Terpenes extracted from natural plants and comprising the largest class of natural products with more than 30000 compounds (1) are widely used as flavoring, sweeteners, preservatives, and supplements in commercial food processing industries. The wider functions of terpenes in plant biology include light-harvesting pigments in photosynthesis, the attraction of insect pollinators, defense against feedants and pathogens, and as mediators in the interactions of plants with other organisms. (2)

Terpenes and their Antibacterial Activity:

Cas No. Terpenes Antibacterial Activity
5989-27-8 Limonene Staphylococcus aureus;

Yersinia enterocolitis

99-87-6 Para-cymene Escherichia coli
470-82-6 1,8-cineole Staphylococcus aureus;

Escherichia coli;


123-35-3 Myrcene Salmonella pullorum
99-85-4 Gamma Terpinene Staphylococcus aureus
99-86-5 Alpha Terpinene Staphylococcus aureus
80-56-8 Alpha Pinene Bacillus cereus
127-91-3 Beta Pinene Bacillus cereus



[1]   Dagenhardt, J., Kollner, T.G. and Gershenzon, J. (2009) Monoterpene and Sesquiterpene Synthases and the Origin of Terpene Skeletal Diversity in Plants. Phytochemistry, 70, 1621-1637.

[2]   Obiloma, A. , Madu, W. , Osuji, G. , Ampim, P. , Weerasooriya, A. and Carson, L. (2019) Terpene-Rich Medicinal Plant Spices for Flavoring of Processed Tropical Food. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 10, 572-577.