A preservative is a substance that is added to foods to prevent decomposition by microbial growth or by undesirable chemical changes according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Joint Food Rules Committee. Preservatives are used to increase the shelf-life of a food product while retaining its nutritional value. Artificial preservatives decrease microbial spoilage, reduce the risk of foodborne infections, and keep the food fresh and nutritious.
Figure 1. Antimicrobial mechanisms of natural preservatives. AMPs, antimicrobial peptides; pAMPs, plant antimicrobial peptides.
Depending upon the purpose of their usage in the food products, preservatives can be categorized into three types:
Preservative must be added to foods in small quantities, and cannot be served as food. The usage of preservative needs to be tightly controlled as excessive usage can be harmful to human health. However, some food producers use preservatives improperly for the pursuit of food appearance and storage, which makes tests on preservative necessary to ensure food safety.
Preservatives Test at Creative Proteomics
With long-standing experience in food additives test, Creative Proteomics can offer food preservatives test services to detect and quantify most preservative and banned food additives with high sensitivity and efficiency in accordance with the WHO standard for food additive limits. The test of methods includes but is not limited:
1. Gas Chromatography (GC)
2. Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS/MS)
3. Liquid Chromatography (LC)
4. Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
5. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
The following table shows the type of food preservatives used, the type of food products they are used in. E numbers are codes for substances that are permitted to be used as food additives for use within the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Table1. The preservatives can be tested at Creative Proteomics.
|E number||Chemical compound||Comment|
|E200 – E203||sorbic acid, sodium sorbate and sorbates||common for cheese, wine, baked goods|
|E210 – E213||benzoic acid, sodium benzoate and benzoates||used in acidic foods such as jams, salad dressing, juices, pickles, carbonated drinks, soy sauce|
|E214 – E219||hydroxybenzoate and derivatives||stable at a broad pH range|
|E220 – E227||sulfur dioxide and sulfites||common for fruits|
|E249 – E250||nitrite||used in meats to prevent botulism toxin|
|E251 – E252||nitrate||used in meats|
|E280 – E283||propionic acid and sodium propionate||baked goods|
|E300-304||ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate||cheese, chips|
|E306 – E309||tocopherols||vitamin E activity|
|E310-312||gallic acid and sodium gallate||oxygen scavenger|
|E321||butylated hydroxytoluene, butylated hydroxyanisole||also used in food packaging|
At Creative Proteomics, our laboratory has state-of-the-art instrumentation to analyze preservatives in food products. We also provide consultation on labeling requirements concerning preservatives for packaged food products. Based on professional knowledge and experienced staff, Creative Proteomics provides a wide range of information about preservatives. Our ordering procedure is as follows. If you have any questions or specific needs, do not hesitate to contact us.
1. Angiolillo, L; et al. Food Additives: Natural Preservatives. Encyclopedia of Food Safety. 2014；2：474 - 476.
2. Lee, N.K.; Paik, H.D. Status, Antimicrobial Mechanism, and Regulation of Natural Preservatives in Livestock Food Systems. Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. 2016, 36 (4): 547-557.