Essential oils can be used to make an edible film that protects foods better than plastic

For decades your mother likely had rolls of plastic wrap in one of her kitchen drawers. She’d pull it out whenever it was time to wrap up leftovers or cover a dish she needed to set inside the refrigerator. It’s quite possible that you, now that you’re an adult who does at least some of the cooking, are using some of the same kind of wrap.

But did you know that the best food preservatives actually may be all-natural essential oils? It’s true.

Recent research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that an edible film that is coated with essential oils of clove and oregano actually protected the freshness of bread for a longer period than conventional plastic wrap in combination with calcium propionate, a food preservative.

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As Natural News reported in June 2014:

Researchers from the Department of Food Technology at the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil decided to test the effects of essential oils after learning about their antimicrobial properties. Recognizing a need for modern solutions to food preservation that avoid the use of toxic chemicals, the team began evaluating how essential oils embedded into food packaging might be the solution.

Researchers used low-speed mixing and ultrasonicatio techniques to form coarse emulsions and nanoemulsions of both clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum) and oregano (Origanum vulgare). Then they added methylcellulose, which is an edible fiber, to create film sheets out of the essential oils.

The research team then applied the edible essential oil sheets to bread that was devoid of preservatives. After doing so the team observed a marked decrease in mold and yeast counts after 15 days, concluding that the sheets were responsible for maintaining the bread’s freshness for a longer period of time and did not fade like conventional preservatives.

“Both essential oils reduced the rigidity and increased the extensibility of the methylcellulose films, effects that were even more pronounced for nanodroplets,” the team wrote in their research paper. “Both essential oils lessened the counts of yeasts and molds in sliced bread during 15 days, and droplet size reduction provided a further improvement in antimicrobial properties.”

What was also interesting is that the essential oil infusions were even more effective than calcium propionate and preventing the growth of mold on bread. That’s important, many observers noted, because natural solutions are constantly being rated as inferior to more conventional ones, though in this case the conventional preservative was less effective in preventing mold growth.

Another reason why using plastic and chemical preservatives to safeguard food freshness is that the plastic can leach many other chemicals into the food that could lead to health problems, including plasticizers, phthalates and other chemicals that disrupt hormones and are mostly invisible but potentially deadly.

“Leachables from plastics can include everything from leftover monomer building blocks to additives used to make plastic strong or malleable,” says a report in Chemical & Engineering News, which is published by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

“Probably the most infamous leachable from plastics is bisphenol A (BPA), which is used as a building block in polycarbonate bottles and in the epoxy-resin liners of metal cans.”

Clearly the development of essential oils sheets as a replacement for food preservatives and plastic wrap is a mini-revolution in food all by itself, and part of the larger revolution taking place throughout the food industry.

But there is so much more to learn, and fortunately, you have an opportunity to do just that by signing up, for FREE, to attend the 5th Annual Food Revolution Summit online beginning April 30.

“Our world is in desperate need of a food revolution. Pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, and untested chemicals are spreading like a virus through our food supply. The health of your family and friends, as well as our planet, is at risk,” note event sponsors John and Ocean Roberts.

They invite you to find out how you can prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, fatigue, poor sleep, and other health challenges — with food. Sign up for the FREE Food Revolution Summit today.


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