Some foods contain natural antimicrobial chemicals that may help prevent spoilage. Egg white, for instance, is rich in lysozyme. If lysozyme-susceptible bacteria breach the protective shell of an egg, they are destroyed by lysozyme before they can cause spoilage. Other examples of naturally occurring antimicrobial chemicals are benzoic acid, which is found in cranberries, allicin in garlic, and an antibacterial peroxidase system, similar to that found in phagocytes, which is in raw milk. ■ lysozyme, p. 60 ■ peroxidase enzymes, p. 375
The extent of microbial growth varies greatly depending on the conditions under which a food is stored. Microorganisms multiply rapidly in warm, oxygen-rich environments such as the surface of meat stored at room temperature.
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