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Antimicrobial Effects of Corn Zein Films Impregnated with Nisin, Lauric Acid, and EDTA

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Bacterial growth during food transport and storage is a problem that may be addressed with packaging materials that release antimicrobials during food contact. In a series of five experiments, EDTA, lauric acid (LA), nisin, and combinations of the three antimicrobial agents were incorporated into a corn zein film and exposed to broth cultures of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella Enteritidis for 48 h (sampled at 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, and 48 h). Four experiments used starting cultures of 108 CFU/ml in separate experiments tested against each bacterium; the fifth experiment examined the inhibitory effect of selected antimicrobial agents on Salmonella Enteritidis with an initial inoculum of 104 CFU/ml. L. monocytogenes cell numbers decreased by greater than 4 logs after 48 h of exposure to films containing LA and nisin alone. No cells were detected for L. monocytogenes (8-log reduction) after 24-h exposure to any film combination that included LA. Of all film agent combinations tested, none had greater than a 1-log reduction of Salmonella Enteritidis when a 108-CFU/ml broth culture was used. When a 104 CFU/ml of Salmonella Enteritidis initial inoculum was used, the films with EDTA and LA and EDTA, LA, and nisin were bacteriostatic. However, there was a 5-log increase in cells exposed to control within 24 h. The results demonstrate bacteriocidal and bacteriostatic activity of films containing antimicrobial agents.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634–0371, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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