Antimicrobial food additives and disinfectants: Mode of action and microbial resistance mechanisms

Meera Surendran Nair, Indu Upadhyaya, Mary Anne Roshni Amalaradjou, Kumar Venkitanarayanan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


Beyond the need for microbial control in human and animal medicine, there exists a significant requirement for pathogen exclusion in the food industry. In this regard, the food industry has been using a variety of non-antibiotic based antimicrobials, including additives and disinfectants for controlling foodborne spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms. This chapter focuses on the commonly used antimicrobial food preservatives and disinfectants, their mode of action, microbial resistance to these non-antibiotics, and the underlying resistance mechanisms. It then discusses the potential application of these antimicrobials as alternatives to control antibiotic resistant foodborne pathogens. Food additive includes preservatives, sweeteners, color additives, flavors and spices, flavor enhancers, nutrient supplements, emulsifiers, texturing agents, acidulants, and enzymes. Disinfection of food processing premises and equipment is an integral part of the Good Hygienic Practice (GHP). The excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture has led to the emergence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFoodborne Pathogens and Antibiotic Resistance
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781119139188
ISBN (Print)9781119139157
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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