Alternative to Artificial Preservatives

Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy,2019,10,1s,s13-s16.
Published:August 2019
Type:Review Article

Alternative to Artificial Preservatives

PV Kamala Kumari*, S Akhila, Y Srinivasa Rao and B. Rama Devi

Vignan Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology, Duvvada, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA.


Preservatives are the substances that prolong the shelf life of food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals by preventing their spoilage. Antimicrobials such as nitrites, nitrates, benzoates and sulfur dioxide destroy or delay the growth of microorganisms. Anti-oxidants such as Butylated Hydroxy Toluene (BHT), Butylated Hydroxy Anisole (BHA), and propyl gallate act by preventing the oxidation of substances that slow or stop the breakdown of fats and oils. Anti-enzymatic preservatives such as citric acid block the enzymatic processes occurring in foodstuffs even after harvest. Natural substances like salt, sugar, vinegar and spices have been used as preservatives since time immemorial. The majority of preservatives used today are artificial rather than natural. Several of them are toxic and several others have potentially life-threatening side effects. Artificial preservatives can cause serious health hazards such as hypersensitivity, allergy, asthma, hyperactivity, neurological damage and cancer. Research has proven that several natural preservatives obtained from plants, animals, microbes and minerals contain antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti -enzymatic properties. Extracts of basil, clove, neem and rosemary are promising alternatives to their artificial counterparts. This article aims at increasing awareness about the harmful effects of artificial preservatives and recommends the usage of natural preservatives for better therapeutic efficacy, safety and preservation of substances along with improved general health.