Aromatherapy oils have been found to help preserve food.
A film made from clove and oregano essential oils has been found to preserve bread longer than commercial additives.
Essential oils are already used to replace synthetic cleaning products and in anti-mosquito sprays and medicines.
Food scientists have found that the oils can keep bacteria and mold at bay.
The team decided to test how well different edible films with clove and oregano essential oils could maintain bread’s freshness and see how they measured up against a commercial antimicrobial agent. Bread is a common staple around the world and is often kept fresh with calcium propionate. Though naturally occurring, some research suggesting negative side effects have tarnished its popularity.
The scientists bought preservative-free bread and placed slices in plastic bags with or without essential oil-infused edible films.
To some slices, they added a commercial preservative containing calcium propionate.
After 10 days, the latter additive lost its effectiveness, but the edible films made with small droplets of the oils continued to slow mold growth.
The results are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.