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Influence of Food Matrix on Inactivation of Bacillus cereus by Combinations of Nisin, Pulsed Electric Field Treatment, and Carvacrol

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Carvacrol was used as a third preservative factor to enhance further the synergy between nisin and pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment against vegetative cells of Bacillus cereus. When applied simultaneously with nisin (0.04 μg/ml), carvacrol (0.5 mM) enhanced the synergy found between nisin and PEF treatment (16.7 kV/cm, 30 pulses) in potassium-N-2-hydroxyethylpiperazine-N-ethanesulfonic acid (HEPES) buffer. The influence of food ingredients on bactericidal activity was tested using skimmed milk that was diluted to 20% with sterile demineralized water. The efficacy of PEF treatment was not affected by the presence of proteins, and results found in HEPES buffer correlated well with results in milk (20%). Nisin showed less activity against B. cereus in milk. Carvacrol was not able to enhance the synergy between nisin and PEF treatment in milk, unless used in high concentrations (1.2 mM). This concentration in itself did not influence the viable count. Carvacrol did act synergistically with PEF treatment in milk, however not in HEPES buffer. This synergy was not influenced by proteins in milk, as 5% milk still allows synergy between carvacrol and PEF treatment to the same extent as 20% milk.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Agrotechnological Research Institute (ATO), 6708 PD Wageningen, The Netherlands 2: Institute for Food Research, ID, Garlei Street, Sector 1, 71576, Bucharest, Romania

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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