The X-tend range consists of distinctive formulations of proprietary blends of essential oils and oleoresins after Arjuna’s researchers identified a selection of botanical extracts that possessed antimicrobial activity.
The natural antimicrobial system is made from a combination of natural anti-fungal and antibacterial components isolated from spices, herbs and bacteriocins. They are targeted specifically to address the spoilage issue in fresh foods and beverages, and improve shelf life naturally.
The researchers, based at Arjuna’s new food technology division in Cochin, combined the botanical extracts, which are used in traditional Indian medicine, with methods of fermentation for bacteriocins, in concert with advanced technologies such as microencapsulation and emulsification.
These techniques allowed the formulations to maintain their clean-label promise, which is in demand among a growing number of young, middle-class Indians, Arjuna’s joint managing director said.
“Consumers’ growing demand for food free from preservatives directly influences food manufacturers’ and retailers’ decisions in developing and marketing new products,” said Benny Antony.
“Millennials, especially, are actively seeking safe foods without artificial ingredients. New product developers can help ensure success by focusing on clean labels.”
The scientists found no change in sensory profiles for taste and mouthfeel from the formulations after testing in a range of bakery, dairy, condiment and juice products, which tend to have shorter shelf-lives.
“Consumers are not aware that a lot of fruit-based drinks are susceptible to oxidation and microbial degradation,” said Antony.
“Drinking fresh fruit and vegetable drinks, or enjoying healthful and nutritious snacks like hummus spread that are refrigerated without preservatives could be dangerous to health.”
While these foods are highly sensitive to oxidation and contamination, many products on the market still rely on synthetic preservatives, he added.