7 awesome ingredients you can use as natural preservatives for drinks

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    These days, consumers expect beverages will retain sensory characteristics like flavor, color, texture and aroma over shelf life. Therefore, natural preservatives are usually used to extend the shelf life to meet the demands of long supply chains and ensure consumer’s health. 

    This writing will provide you with the definition of natural preservatives, it’s functions, and some popular natural preservatives that you can easily find and apply to your needs.

    What do natural preservatives mean?

    Natural preservatives are the traditional preservatives that stop or delay the growth of bacteria or microbes 

    Drinks have ingredients with preservation properties to keep their taste fresh through long shelf life. While artificial preservatives have been used in packaged beverages, as they are economically effective at low dosages, today’s label-telling consumers are increasingly refusing ingredients with chemical-sounding names.

    It’s easy as it’s sound that natural preservatives are the traditional preservatives that stop or delay the growth of bacteria or microbes in the food and beverage for a specific period. 

    Natural preservatives contain antioxidative, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which inhibit and prevent the growth of bacteria, fungus, molds and yeast. In that way, it helps to extend the shelf life of products.

    What are natural preservatives used for?

    The purpose of using natural preservatives is to extend the shelf life of the products

    The purpose of using natural preservatives is to extend the shelf life of their products, reduce spoilage and retain the original smell and taste. After all, the goods need to be safe during the shipping process, and they would be sitting in a store for a while before someone brings them home.

    Natural preservatives are popular in shelf-stable food and beverage products because they are made from organic resources. 

    To get ready for broad consumption, these formulas need to pass a preservative efficacy test [PET], also known as a “challenge test.” This process stimulates natural contamination by getting rid of products with microorganisms. If the natural preservative succeeds in eradicating these organisms, the product is ready for board consumption.

    Like artificial preservatives, natural preservatives fall within the category of what scientists often call a “preservative system.” This phrase refers to three ways preservatives come to work, and scientists added antibacterial to make a list three total:

    1. antimicrobial: reduces the growth of microbes such as bacteria and fungi
    2. antibacterial: reduces the growth of bacteria like mold and yeast
    3. antioxidants: delays or stops oxidation processing (usually the beginning of something deteriorating because it is losing electrons)

    7 Popular natural preservatives for drinks 

    The most famous natural preservatives are harmless substances we’re all familiar with. Following are the natural preservatives that enhance the shelf life of food and beverage products.

    • Salt (Sodium Chloride, NaCl)

    Salt will protect the organic products from deterioration and spoilage

    Salt is one of the most popular natural food preservatives used to preserve meats and vegetables for extended use. Microorganisms such as bacteria, molds, yeast etc used to live and reproduce in the aqueous medium. 

    Salt will protect the organic products from deterioration and spoilage by dehydrating the microbes by osmosis processing. Osmosis is called the movement of water across a semipermeable membrane from a solution of lower solute concentration to a higher solute concentration. Thus, salt protects organic products from bacteria, yeast and molds to reproduce.

    Chemically, salts consist of an anionic assembly of cations and anions that render them neutral in charge. They push water out of microorganisms, effectively drying and killing them. Numerous salts have functioned as beverage preservatives as well.

    • Lemon juice (Citrus limon)

    Lemon juice contains Ascorbic acid, it also reduces the oxidation process

    Lemon juice includes citric acid and vitamin C, which is known as Ascorbic acid. Microbes, bacteria, yeast and molds are unable to live and reproduce in an acidic medium environment. As lemon juice contains Ascorbic acid, it also reduces the oxidation process because vitamin C is an antioxidant. Also, lemon juice is applied for the preservation of fruits for a short period.

    • Rosemary extract (Rosmarinus officinalis)

    Rosemary extract contains carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid, which are antioxidants

    Rosemary Extract is produced from the distillation of rosemary leaves. Rosemary extract contains carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid, which are antioxidants and protect the products from spoilage. 

    Rosemary holds about 20-24 antioxidants which have a comparatively longer life span than other antioxidant elements. Also, rosemary extract is used to increase the shelf life of meat to avoid the rancidity of fats and oils. It has a particular aroma, so it is used in minute amounts ic. 0.15% to 0.5% in food items as a preservative.

    • Sugar

    Sugar protects organic products (especially fruits) from spoilage

    Sugar is used for a sweetener function and is a natural preservative that is readily available in almost every kitchen. Like salt, sugar protects organic products (especially fruits) from spoilage by dehydration microorganisms by osmosis. Bacteria, molds and yeast require an aqueous medium for regeneration. Many fresh fruits and some vegetables are preserved by adding more sugar.

    Beverages are made with artificial high-intensity sweeteners to require more shelf life assistance, also used to increase acidity and enhance flavor in that drinks. 

    Besides, sugar has functioned as a natural preservative by binding water. That’s because microorganisms need free water to grow.

    • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

    Arhime, Zingiber officinale is in food and beverage preservation as it has antimicrobial properties. A bacteria, salmonella, is killed due to the antimicrobial properties of pinger. Also, a parasite Anisakis is killed because of the antimicrobial properties of ginger.

    • Fermentation

    The fermentation generates functional organic acids

    It originated from familiar food ingredients, such as sugar, milk and wheat flour, and fermentation nutrients. The fermentation generates functional organic acids, a practical hurdle against common product spoilage microorganisms while increasing sensory quality.

    Vinegar is one fermented ingredient that naturally assists with beverage preservation. Drinking kinds of vinegar are usually produced with apple cider vinegar (ACV). A two-step fermentation process creates the ACV. To begin with, yeast converts the inherent sugar into alcohol. After that, bacteria turn the alcohol into acetic acid, the sour component of all vinegar with preservative properties.

    Beverages using organic ACV are trending in recent years, either ACV at 100% or as part of a beverage mix, for example, kombucha drink. These beverages are getting more complicated, with a layering of various flavors. They are also being positioned as ‘zero-proof beverages or mocktails. The ACV provides the drink with some zing feeling, like gin or vodka.

    Ready-to-drink beverage creators using ACV as an ingredient typically purchase the vinegar in bulk tankers, but smaller containers are available. The acetic acid substance serves as a natural antimicrobial and extends product shelf life.

    • Other

    Citric acid ingredients also include potassium citrate-a potassium salt of citric acid that has functioned as an acidulant

    The most common natural preservatives used in soft drinks have been sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, some beverages containing both. They are highly effective at low dosages and economical.

    Potassium sorbate is related to the potassium salt of sorbic acid and is often used when necessary to keep sodium content at a low level. It is good at inhibiting molds and yeasts from increasing in wine, fruit drinks and soft drinks. In wine, it also helps with the fermentation process.

    Citric acid ingredients also include potassium citrate-a potassium salt of citric acid that has functioned as an acidulant, buffering agent, and preservative.

    Citric acid substance is naturally found in citrus fruits, giving them their tart taste, and it’s typically not an economical matter to use fruit-derived citric acid as an additive. Most citric acid is produced by feeding simple carbohydrates to Aspergillus niger mold and processing the resulting fermented compound. Manufactures still are considered a cleaner label option.

    In conclusion

    Natural preservatives tend to be healthier than synthetic ones but remember that they aren’t guaranteed to be good. If you experience any adverse reaction to a product, you must consult your doctor’s opinion.

    If you’ve got an idea for a great drink, the beverage development experts at Tan Do can help you bring it to life! Just visit our discussion to find out more!

    Lilian Nguyen
    Hi! I'm Lilian Nguyen. I'm an expert in OEM, ODM, private label beverage industry with 8 years of experience. I believe that it is crucial for companies to focus on the benefits which the product provides to their target customer and what does it mean to the community. When i am not working, i run a blog on making healthy snacks & drinks and join in a hiking club. I'm an expert in the beverage industry invited by Tan Do Beverage to work. I'm in charge of publishing articles, research articles on the beverage industry or anything healthy to help readers have a better view of what they are looking to do, prepare to do or are doing related to the beverage industry. Email: lilian.nguyen@tdfood.com.vn

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