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In situ antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of naturally occurring caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and rutin, using food systems


Correspondence to: Dejan Stojković, University of Belgrade, Institute for Biological Research ‘Siniša Stanković’, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia. E-mail:



Three pure compounds that naturally occur in plants were of particular interest to our study regarding the possibility of using them as food preservatives: p-coumaric acid (found in peanuts, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, wine, vinegar, etc.), caffeic acid (found in argan oil, oats, wheat, rice and olive oil) and rutin (found in asparagus, citrus fruits, berries, apple, apricot, asparagus, beef and beer). In the following study we investigated in situ antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of three pure compounds, namely caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and rutin, naturally occurring in plants.


Two food systems were used in order to obtain information on how these compounds react in actual food systems rather than microbiological media. The results indicated good antioxidant activity in in situ food systems. For tested phenolic compounds it was further shown that they successively inhibited the development of the isolated food contaminant Staphylococcus aureus in chicken soup. Panelist found that organoleptic characteristics of chicken soup and pork meat improved after treatment with phenolics.


Our findings alone, along with the potential use of phenolic compounds that are widespread in nature, may imply their potential use as preservatives in the food industry. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry

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