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Transmission Electron Microscopy Study of Listeria monocytogenes Treated with Nisin in Combination with either Grape Seed or Green Tea Extract

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The objective of this study was to use transmission electron microscopy to investigate the morphological changes that occurred in Listeria monocytogenes cells treated with grape seed extract (GSE), green tea extract (GTE), nisin, and combinations of nisin with either GSE or GTE. The test solutions were prepared with (i) 1% GSE, 1% GTE, 6,400 IU of nisin, and the combination of these dilutions with nisin or with (ii) the pure major phenolic constituents of GSE (0.02% epicatechin plus 0.02% catechin) or GTE (0.02% epicatechin plus 0.02% caffeic acid) and their combinations with 6,400 IU of nisin in tryptic soy broth with 0.6% yeast extract (TSBYE). Test solutions were inoculated with L. monocytogenes at approximately 106 CFU/ml and incubated for 3 or 24 h at 37°C. After 3 h of incubation, cells were harvested and evaluated under a transmission electron microscope (JEOL-100 CX) operating at 80 kV (50,000×). Microscopic examination revealed an altered cell membrane and condensed cytoplasm when L. monocytogenes cells were exposed to a combination of nisin with either GSE or GTE or to pure compounds of the major phenolic constituents in combination. After 24 h of incubation at 37°C, the combinations of nisin with GSE and nisin with GTE reduced the L. monocytogenes population to undetectable levels and 3.7 log CFU/ml, respectively. These observations indicate that the combination of nisin with either GSE or GTE had a synergistic effect, and the combinations of nisin with the major phenolic constituents were most likely associated with the L. monocytogenes cell damage during inactivation in TSBYE at 37°C.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas, 2650 North Young Avenue, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72704, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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