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Potential of Bacterial Chitinases and Exopolysaccharides for Enhancing Shelf Life of Food Commodities at Varying Conditions

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Lahore PAKISTAN

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 3, Issue (7), Pages 87-93, July,22 (2014)

Abstract

Many fruits and various other foods are decomposed by fungal attacks. Poor post harvest transport and storage managements result into great economic losses. In addition, consumption of fungi contaminated foods leads to further human health risk issues. The situation is especially prevalent in countries characterized with warmth and humid environments, where in fungal growth and insect attacks are very common. Chemical control measures increase health risks and environmental problems. Biological control promises a safe solution. Fungi possess chitin as integral part of their outermost boundaries, while insects besides their exoskeleton also have constitutional components of chitin if other organ system, especially gut. Fortunately chitin is not represented either structural or physiological component of human bodies. Thus a biological control strategy which can damage chitin, a vital component of fungi and arthropods may be believed to be non-toxic for humans. Several bacterial species are being reported as biofungicide. The chitinase producers appear potential candidates of biological control of fungi for enhancing shelf life of various food commodities. Several bacterial species are being reported as biofungicide. The chitinase producers appear potential candidates of biological control of fungi for enhancing shelf life of various food commodities. The present review highlights this aspect of bacterial chitinases. The information given provide insight for research efforts directed towards development of environmentally and human health friendly biological control strategies for fruits and other attackable foods deteriorating and damaging during post harvest storage. Implications of relevant extremophiles in this regard sound appealing, due to their non-pathogenic nature and high stabilities of the enzymatic products.

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