Grapefruit Seed Extract as a Natural Food Antimicrobial: a Review

Abstract

In agreement with the recent trend of consumers’ demand for natural antimicrobial products, the importance of using natural compounds in food is increasing. Among numerous natural compounds, grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is widely known for its extremely effective antimicrobial activity. The direct use of GSE in food is the most common method of application. Other GSE applications exist using it with coating materials and incorporating it into edible films. Previously done studies identified benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, and other synthetic agents from GSE. Unfortunately, the presence of these antibacterial contents does not exactly coincide with the natural aspects of GSE. Even though GSE is identified as a natural antimicrobial, this observation suggests that the GSE antibacterial activity is derived from these synthetic substances such as benzalkonium chloride. Therefore, further research is needed about these controversial issues. This review analyzed the application of GSE as a natural antimicrobial in the food industry and suggested further research directions.

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Correspondence to Se-Wook Oh.

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Kim, T., Kim, JH. & Oh, SW. Grapefruit Seed Extract as a Natural Food Antimicrobial: a Review. Food Bioprocess Technol 14, 626–633 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11947-021-02610-5

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Keywords

  • Antimicrobial
  • Foodborne pathogen
  • Food safety
  • Grapefruit seed extract