Keywords: Marine algae, Electrospinning, Nanofibers, Food pathogens, Biopolymers
In the modern world, the consumption of packaged foods by the people has been increased day by day. However, the most significant hurdle of the food industry is the limited shelf life of packaged food products due to contamination by food spoiling pathogens which results in a global public health issue, trade, and the economy. Given access to improper food preservation, bacteria and fungi rapidly colonize, increase in population that leads food spoilage (Hammond et al., 2015). The World Health Organization reports that unsafe food results in the illnesses of at least 2 billion people worldwide annually and can be deadly (Sharif et al., 2017). Addition of synthetic antimicrobial agents effectively controls the growth of food contaminants and extends the shelf life of foods (Irkin and Esmer, 2015). Though, recent toxicological studies indicate that specific concentrations of synthetic preservatives and their continuous use may be potentially mutagenic and genotoxic. For example, Sales et al. (2018) recently proved that artificial synthetic additives induced the formation of micronuclei in the bone marrow erythrocytes and believed as cytotoxic and genotoxic in the animal study. This apprehension rising consumers demand additional of natural preservatives that must be non-toxic as well as excellent defensive from microbial attack (Gyawali and Ibrahim, 2014; Brandelli and T.M. Taylor, 2015; Piran et al., 2017). Therefore, search for new alternatives to preserve foods is of great interest in the food industry. Natural antimicrobials attract considerable attention in the food industry because these substances would not cause any toxic or undesirable effect on the consumers (Brandelli and T.M. Taylor, 2015; Wang et al., 2018).
Natural bioactive compounds from many plants, bacteria and animal sources for food application have been extensively studied by various researchers and reported the possibility of commercial use. However, each source has own disadvantages and thus that bottleneck 100% usage for commercial purpose. Most of the essential oils from plants shows instability (Moghimipour et al, 2012) and very less effective against gram-negative bacteria (Tiwari et al., 2009; Naik et al., 2010; Nazzaro et al., 2013). Moreover, overuse of bacteriocins can lead to resistant pathogens (Cavera et al., 2015), loss of their activity by proteolytic enzymes (Bradshaw, 2003; Fahim et al., 2016). Some of the animal source antimicrobial peptides like lysozyme and pleurocidin are not showing strong effects on gram-negative bacteria (Aloui and Khwaldia, 2016) and was inhibited by magnesium and calcium in the foods which may limit the use (Tiwari et al., 2009). There is an urgent need of new and alternate to above mentioned antimicrobial agents. In the recent years, seaweeds have been recognized as one of the wealthiest and most unexplored new source of antimicrobial compounds and nanofibers for therapeutic and food preservation. This review focus on various antimicrobial compounds extracted from marine algae and their biochemical compositions, antimicrobial activities against food pathogens. Also, this article pivots the potential use of marine algae for nanofibers synthesis used for incorporating antimicrobial agents for greater delivery and their stability during food preservation.