Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2011
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Plant-derived essential oils (EOs) and oil compounds, with relatively high vapor pressure, have been evaluated at their liquid and gas phases for their ability to protect food against pathogenic bacteria. The evaluation of antimicrobial effectiveness of EOs in edible films can be done by different methods depending on relevant applications. The overlay method represents the direct contact of the films on food surfaces and the vapor phase method is related to inactivation of pathogens from a distance without direct contact of the films with the contaminated food. In this study, 17 volatile EOs at 3% (w/w) concentration in tomato-based edible films were screened against E. coli O157:H7. Oregano, clove bud and allspice EOs showed the highest inhibition area by the overlay and vapor phase methods. Carvacrol, the main active antibacterial component in oregano oil (the most potent antimicrobial EO), was effective in vapor phase against E. coli O157:H7 when incorporated in apple or tomato films at concentration as low as 0.5% (w/w). These promising antimicrobial volatile EOs were incorporated into edible films and pouches to evaluate practical applications as non-contact antimicrobial agents on spinach leaves and whole strawberries stored under refrigeration.