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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358689

Research Project: Quality, Shelf-life and Health Benefits for Fresh, Fresh-cut and Processed Products for Citrus and Other Tropical/Subtropical-grown Fruits and Vegetables

Location: Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research

Title: Microencapsulation and antimicrobial activity of carvacrol in a pectin-alginate matrix

item Sun, Xiuxiu
item Cameron, Randall - Randy
item Bai, Jinhe

Submitted to: Food Hydrocolloids
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2019
Publication Date: 1/3/2019
Citation: Sun, X.N., Cameron, R.G., Bai, J. 2019. Microencapsulation and antimicrobial activity of carvacrol in a pectin-alginate matrix. Food Hydrocolloids. 92:69-73.

Interpretive Summary: Carvacrol is a natural compound with strong antimicrobial activity, and could be used to reduce food-borne and plant disease contamination thus enhance food safety. However, the strong odor makes it impossible to be directly applied to food. It is also water insoluble, and thus hard to be applied. In current research, a micro-encapsulated carvacrol was formulated and the new application could to used to food decontamination without the off-odor and water solubility problems.

Technical Abstract: Carvacrol is a natural phenolic compound that has received great attention for its high antimicrobial activity. However, the applications of this compound are limited due to its high volatility and low water solubility. In this research, the use of food grade polymers for microencapsulation of carvacrol in a pectin-alginate matrix using a spray drying method was studied. The physical properties, encapsulation efficiency, stability, and the microstructure of the microcapsules were analyzed as well as the products’ antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The microcapsules were regularly spherical particles with 4.51% moisture content, 0.33 g cm-3 bulk density, 4.55 min wettability, and a hygroscopicity of 34.44 g/100 g. The microcapsules also showed high encapsulation efficiency (76.98%) and stability. The microencapsulation process did not significantly affect the antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli K12 (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) = 0.25 mg mL-1) and antioxidant activity (DPPH percentage inhibition (PI) = 89.96%) of carvacrol. The results indicated that the carvacrol microcapsule product can potentially be used as a controlled-release decontaminator in food and nutraceutical processing industries.