Antimicrobial Activity of Several Herb and Spice Extracts in Culture Medium and in Vacuum-Packaged Pork

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Extracts prepared from honeysuckle, Scutellaria, Forsythia suspensa (Thunb), cinnamon, and rosemary with 75% ethanol and from clove oil dissolved in 75% ethanol were applied to inoculated agar media to observe their inhibitory effects on the growth of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Lactobacillus plantarum. All the extracts suppressed the growth of these bacteria; Scutellaria exhibited the strongest effect against E. coli. An orthogonal test revealed that the most effective antimicrobial composite extracts were equal-volume mixtures of 0.125 g/ml Scutellaria + 0.5 g/ml honeysuckle + 0.125 g/ml Forsythia + 0.25 g/ml cinnamon and 0.25 g/ml cinnamon + 0.125 g/ml rosemary + 0.25% clove oil. These mixed extracts also produced strong antimicrobial effects in vacuum-packaged fresh pork, with 1.81- to 2.32-log reductions in microbial counts compared with the control when stored for up to 28 days. The sensory panel detected minimal differences in surface color and off-odors between meat samples treated with herb-spice extracts and the control. These results indicate that combined herb and spice extracts can be used as natural antimicrobials for food preservation.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, China 2: College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China 3: Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40546, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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