Fishery products are highly perishable foods because of activity of spoilage and pathogenic microbiota, which can rapidly grow under the usually adopted storage conditions (mainly low temperature and application of modified atmosphere or vacuum). For this reason, the need of prolonging their shelf life is crucial to improve their commercialization, reducing food losses, and assuring their safety. Among the strategies to reach this aim, the application of “natural” approaches received an increasing interest due to their relatively low costs and the acceptance by consumers. In this chapter, two of these possible strategies are reviewed. The use of essential oils can delay or inhibit the growth of undesirable microorganisms because of the antimicrobial activity of many of their components. On the other side, also the use of bioprotective cultures has been described, with particular emphasis on the bacteriocin producing lactic acid bacteria. Both these strategies have received a wide scientific interest in the last decade. Nevertheless, relatively few are practical and industrial applications based on essential oils and bioprotective cultures. Here, the advantages and the potentiality of these approaches are reviewed together with the weaknesses, which limit their application to real foods.
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