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Antibacterial Activity in Extracts of Camellia japonica L. Petals and Its Application to a Model Food System

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The potential presence of naturally occurring antimicrobials in petals of Camellia japonica L., a member of the tea family, was investigated against foodborne pathogens in microbiological media and food. Petals of the camellia flower (C. japonica L.) were extracted with methanol and fractionated into basic, acidic, and neutral fractions. The acidic fraction (equivalent to 1.0 g of raw sample per disk) produced an inhibitory zone of 14 to 19 mm (diameter) in a disk assay against the pathogens Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus on agar plates. Silica gel adsorption column chromatography, Sephadex LH-20 column chromatography, and preparative purification by high-pressure liquid chromatography were used to purify compounds in the fraction. The mass spectrum of the antibacterial compound isolated had a molecular ion (M+) of m/z 116 and showed good conformity with the spectrum of fumaric acid (HOOC-CH=CH-COOH). An aqueous extract from the petals of C. japonica L. had an inhibitory effect on growth of all pathogens at 37°C in microbiological media by increasing the lag phase. None of the microorganisms was inhibited completely. Milk was used as a model food system. Aqueous extract at a concentration of 100 mg/ml was bacteriostatic against all the foodborne pathogens in the milk stored at 25°C for up to 4 days.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Agriculture, Chonnam National University, Kwangju 500-757, Korea 2: Department of Food Technology and Science, 2509 River Drive, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4500, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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