The utilization of saturated atmospheres from Syzygium aromaticum and Mentha pulegium essential oils against rice fungi
Abstract: Storage of rice is a specific ecosystem, conditioned by several factors that are difficult to control, like temperature, relative humidity, water content, oxygen availability. This is especially true in underdeveloped countries where technological innovations such as refrigeration and controlled atmospheres represent huge investments.Storage under deficient conditions can originate insect or fungi attack, inducing organoleptic changes (taste, flavour and appearance), nutritional losses or even mycotoxin contamination. This causes significant economic losses and serious health problems. Currently the use of synthetic pesticides is restrained by regulation and political pressure due to carcinogenic and teratogenic effects, and to high residual acute toxicity. It is also important to consider their long degradation times, environmental pollution issues and collateral effects on consumers. Due to such reasons, populations have become more interested on natural food conservatives.The use of essential oils from aromatic plants may be a practical alternative to the use of synthetic pesticides in preventing deterioration caused by fungi on stored rice. So in this study it was evaluated the potentiality of Syzygium aromaticum and Mentha pulegium essential oils to promote saturated atmospheres capable of protect the rice against Aspergillus candidus, A. niger, Fusarium culmorum and Penicillium islandicum.