Green tea and grape seed extracts — Potential applications in food safety and quality
Author: A.V.S. Perumalla and Navam. S. Hettiarachchy
Using “natural green” plant extracts or their derived products in various food and beverage applications is an increasing trend in the food industry. Selection of these plant extracts and their application depends on their functional properties, availability, cost effectiveness, consumer awareness and their effect on the sensory attributes of the final product. Green tea extract (GTE) and grape seed extract (GSE) are two popular plant extracts that have been widely used in various food and beverage applications. Green tea is a widely consumed beverage that has attracted more attention in the recent years due to its health benefits like antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Grape seed extract is derived from the grape seeds that is extracted, dried and purified to produce polyphenolic compounds-rich extract that also has well documented antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These two plant extracts (polyphenolic and proanthocyanidin rich compounds) have potential antioxidant properties by inhibiting the lipid oxidation and warmed over flavors and antimicrobial activities against major food borne pathogens like Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter jejuni in preventing pathogen contamination. Furthermore, they have demonstrated synergism in antimicrobial activity when used in combination with organic acids (malic, tartaric acid, benzoic acids etc.), bacteriocins like nisin or chelating agents like EDTA in various model systems including fresh produce (fruits and vegetables), raw and ready-to-eat meat and poultry products. Apart from beneficial effects of grape seed extract in food safety and quality, concerns regarding the side effects of GSE are also addressed. Nevertheless, persistent recalls of the food products involving foodborne pathogens despite various control measures calls for efficient bacteriostatic and bactericidal agents and technologies to deliver the active components for an effective inhibition of pathogens. Therefore, further research involving electrostatic spray and nanoscale delivery of the active components present in these natural, green, plant extracts and using them as a component in multiple hurdle approach would enhance the food safety and quality in addition to providing alternative “green” solutions to the food processors.