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Table 18 Classification of artificial preservatives [44, 128,129,130]

From: A review on mechanisms and commercial aspects of food preservation and processing


Antimicrobial agents

Antioxidants agents

Antienzymatic agents


Inhibit the growth of undesirable microorganisms (fungi, bacteria, yeast)

Inhibit atmospheric oxidation. Mainly used for the products that contains unsaturated fatty acids, oils, and lipids

Prevent natural ripening process and oxidative deterioration of food by inhibiting the bacteria, parasite, fungi


Creates unfavorable environment for microorganisms by reducing moisture content and increasing acidity

Oxidation of unsaturated fats produces free radicals which can start chain reactions. In this reaction, aldehyde and ketones are produced which results in the rancid taste of foods. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates and inhibit other oxidation reactions

Blocks enzymatic processes in the food that continue to metabolize after harvest. Metal chelating agents can remove the metal cofactors that many enzymes need


Sorbic acid (2,4-hexadienoic acid) and potassium sorbet for the preservation of cheese, bakery products, vegetable-based products, dried fruits, beverages, and other products as well as smoked fish, margarine, salad cream, and mayonnaises.

Butylated hydroxyl anisole, (BHA) for the preservation of butter, lard, meats, beer, baked goods, snacks, potato chips, nut products, dry mix for beverages

Citric acid for the preservation of foods, beverages, dairy products, and pharmaceuticals

Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate for the preservation of mayonnaises, pickled vegetables, fruit preparation and fruit based drinks, dessert sauces and syrups

Butylated hydroxyl toluene (BHT) in fats and oils processing

EDTA (ethylenediamine tetra acetic acid) in food processing

Lactic acid for the preservation of meats

Sulfites for the preservation of beer, wines, dried foods

Polyphosphates for the preservation of fresh peeled fruits and vegetables

Parabens (esters of para-hydroxy benzoic acid) for the preservation of dried meat products, cereal and potato based snacks and confectionary

Vitamin E for the preservation off fruits and vegetables

Polyphosphates for the preservation of fresh peeled fruits and vegetables

Nitrite (sodium nitrate) for the preservation of meat

Gallates in fats and oils processing

Sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfite for the preservation of dried fruits, certain fruit juices, potatoes, and wines

Ascorbyl palmitate for the preservation of sausages and chicken broths