Combined Effect of Nisin and Pulsed Electric Fields on the Inactivation of Escherichia coli

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The Doehlert design was applied in order to investigate the combined effect of nisin and high voltage pulsed electric fields (PEF) on the inactivation of Escherichia coli in simulated milk ultrafiltrate media. Nisin alone was totally inactivated by PEF, but in the presence of bacterial cells a protective effect was observed. However, the effectiveness of nisin was still decreased when bacterial cells were subjected to the combined treatment. In spite of this phenomenon, an almost additive response emerged as a consequence of the combined treatment. A 4-log cycle reduction may be accomplished with around 1,000 IU/ml (7.15 μM) of nisin and three pulses of 11.25 kV/cm or 500 IU/ml for five pulses of the same intensity. The observed efficacy arising from the combination of both treatments suggests the possibility of using PEF for improving the action spectrum of natural antimicrobials.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria (1428), Buenos Aires, Argentina 2: Departamento de Ingeniería Industrial, F.I., Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria (1428), Buenos Aires, Argentina 3: Departamento de Industrias, F.C.E.yN., Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria (1428), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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