Identification and validation of natural antifungal compounds against bread spoilage organisms as a new biopreservative strategy
Every year, one-third or 1,3 billion ton of all the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. One of the major causes is the colonization of bacteria and fungi, resulting in food spoilage. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, 1,9 million ton of bakery products was wasted in 2020 due to colonization of moulds. Currently, the delay of fungal growth in bakery products is achieved by the addition of chemical preservatives. However, an increasing demand for food products with less synthetic preservatives is experienced. Until today, biopreservatives for bakery products are not yet commercially available due to the lack of validation in real food matrices and the negative organoleptic effects of many natural compounds on bakery products. Normally, a high concentration of an antifungal compound must be added to avoid food spoilage. We hypothesize that by combining natural antifungal compounds with a synergistic effect, their concentrations can be reduced, thereby limiting the negative organoleptic effects without compromising on the antimicrobial activity. After selecting the most optimal combinations of natural antifungal compounds, growth/no-growth models will be developed, which act as a predictive tool for the validation of compounds in a bread matrix. The selected compounds will be validated in par-baked bread by determining the antifungal quality and the effect on the technological quality and sensorial quality. After validation, the mode of action of the most promising compounds will be determined.