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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Produce Safety and Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #136758


item Friedman, Mendel
item Henika, Philip
item Levin, Carol
item Mandrell, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2004
Publication Date: 8/27/2004
Citation: Friedman, M., Henika, P.R., Levin, C.E., Mandrell, R.E. 2004. Bacterial activities of plant essential oils and their components against escherichia coli O157:H7 and salmonella enterica in apple juice. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. 52(19):6042-6048.

Interpretive Summary: To assess the anitmicrobial potential of natural compounds and plant extracts, we previously evaluated the relative bactericidal activities of about 119 plant essential oils and their active components against four human pathogens, Campylobacter jejuni, E.coli O157:H7,Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica (Journal of Food Protection, accepted for publication). Based on the previous observations, we then evaluated the antimicrobial activities of some of the more active samples against E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica added to a prototype food, apple juice. The results show that the 19 selected test compounds evaluated were more active in pH 3.7 apple juice than in a pH 7 buffer. The enhancement of activity in apple juice was greater for Salmonella than for E. coli. Analysis of the essential oils by an HPLC method we developed showed that the antimicrobial activities of the oils are directly related to their content of the active bactericidal components. These studies provide information about possible new ways to protect apple juice and possibly other foods against infection by human pathogens.

Technical Abstract: We evaluated several plant essential oils (cinnamon bark, cinnamon Cassia, cinnamon leaf, clove bud, lemon, lemon grass, orange bitter, orange Mandarin, oregano Spanish, palmarosa, rose Geranium, and thyme) and their major components (carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, citral, eugenol, geraniol, limonene, and perillaldehyde) for anti-microbial activity in a pH 7 PBS buffer and in apple juice (pH 3.7) against Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli) and Salmonella enterica (S. enterica) at ~5 min and 21 oC and after incubation for 60 min at 37 oC. Dose-response plots were used to determine the % of the sample that resulted in a 50% decrease in the colony forming units as compared to a control sample (BA50). The test compounds were more active in apple juice than in the buffer. In apple juice at 60 min, BA50 values for E. coli ranged from 0.023 to 0.14 and for S. enterica from 0.0053 to 0.15. The enhanced activity in apple juice compared to the pH 7 buffer was greater for S. enterica than for E. coli. Lemon oil induced the highest enhancement, 6.9-fold for E. coli and 90.6-fold for S. enterica. Studies with citrate and maleate buffers of the same pH as apple juice suggest that the acidity of the juice contributes to the bactericidal activity. Analysis of the oils by HPLC showed that the bactericidal results are related to the composition of the oils. These studies provide information about possible new ways to protect apple juice and possibly other foods against infection by human pathogens.