Health care associated infections and deaths have reached dimensions that rival traditional diseases and have become a serious financial burden on the health-care systems. Such infections result from microbial contaminations by both bacteria and fungi. Moreover, microbial growth is also responsible for food spoilage, which in turn causes food-borne pathogens outbreaks and deals huge economic damage. The increasing consumer health concern and growing demand for healthy foods have stimulated the use of natural biopreservatives, such as essential oils (EOs), defined as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) antimicrobial agents.
The technology is based on nanocomposites of inorganic carriers, and natural antimicrobial agents, which combine protective, compatibilizing, and release controlling properties of carriers and microbicidal activity of natural biopreservatives.
- Mitigates undesired volatility and poor thermal stability of natural antimicrobial agents, allowing for processing these materials at high temperatures
- Control release profile of antimicrobial agent out of final product, resulting in long-lasting antimicrobial activity
- Can be incorporated within diverse conventional polymers
- Can be dispersed within commercially available primers, both aqueous and organic
- Can be coated upon various surfaces, which can be metal, ceramic, polymer, or semiconductor
- Resulting materials exhibit strong antimicrobial activity
Applications and Opportunities
- Food packaging
- Medical devices