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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENOMICS OF FOODBORNE PATHOGENS

Location: Produce Safety and Microbiology Research

Title: Review of antimicrobial and antioxidative activities of chitosans in food

Authors
item FRIEDMAN, MENDEL
item JUNEJA, VIJAY

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 22, 2010
Publication Date: July 1, 2010
Citation: Friedman, M., Juneja, V.K. 2010. Antimicrobial and Antioxidative Activities of Chitosans in Food. Journal of Food Protection. 73: 1737-1761

Interpretive Summary: In the 1970’s, we published two papers originating from this laboratory on metal-binding properties of chitosan and other natural biopolymers. Our studies stimulated worldwide interest in this subject. More recently, we published a collaborative study on the inhibition by chitosan, a GRAS-listed, biodegradable, non-toxic, non-antigenic, and biocompatible biopolymer isolated from shellfish, on growth of the virulent pathogen Clostridium perfringens in meat. Currently, we plan to explore antimicrobial effects of chitosan nano-particles. To develop a better understanding of the antimicrobial and preservative effects of chitosan in food, this review paper, prepared in collaboration with V. K. Juneja (ERRC), surveys and interprets the widely scattered literature on the chemistry and antibiotic activities of chitosans in solution, as powders, and in edible films and coating against foodborne pathogenic and spoilage bacteria and pathogenic viruses and fungi in several food categories. These include produce (fruits and vegetables), fruit juices, eggs, and dairy, cereal, meat, and seafood products. Also covered are possible mechanisms of the antimicrobial, antioxidative, and metal chelating effects that may govern the beneficial effects in different food categories. Further research is suggested in each of these categories. We are very hopeful that the described findings will be a valuable record and resource for further progress to improve microbial food safety and food quality.

Technical Abstract: shellfish, arises from the fact that they are reported to exhibit numerous health-related beneficial effects, including strong antibiotic and antioxidative activities in foods. The extraordinary interest in the chemistry and application in agriculture, horticulture, environmental science, industry, microbiology, and medicine is attested by about 17,000 citations on this subject in the Scopus database. A special need exists to develop a better understanding of the role of chitosans in ameliorating fodborne illness. To contribute to this effort, this overview surveys and interprets our present knowledge of the chemistry and antibiotic activities of chitosan in solution, as powders, and in edible films and coating against foodborne pathogenic and spoilage bacteria and pathogenic viruses and fungi in several food categories. These include produce, fruit juices, eggs and dairy, cereal, meat, and seafood products and. Also covered are preservative aspects of chitosan in foods, and possible mechanisms of the antimicrobial, antioxidative, and metal chelating effects. Further research is suggested in each of these categories. The data suggest that low molecular weight chitosans at a pH below 6 are optimal conditions for achieving desirable antimicrobial and antioxidative-preservative effects in liquid and solid foods. We are very hopeful that the described findings will be a valuable record and resource for further progress to improve microbial food safety and food quality.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014