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Control of Bacillus cereus in Foods by Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Ait.) Hassk. Leaf Extract and Its Purified Compound

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Edible natural products, either standardized plant extracts or pure compounds, provide unlimited opportunities as safe new antimicrobial agents. This study investigated the antibacterial properties of ethanolic extract from Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Ait.) Hassk. leaves against Bacillus cereus. Preliminary screening to evaluate the activities of the extract used a paper disc diffusion method against 65 food isolates. The extract produced large inhibition zones in all isolates, ranging from 10 to 18 mm. The results were confirmed by MIC and MBC (16 to 64 and 32 to 256 μg/ml, respectively). Rhodomyrtone, a purified compound, exhibited MIC and MBC at 0.5 and at 2 to 8 μg/ml, respectively. The antimicrobial activity of the extract on vegetative cells and endospores of a representative B. cereus isolate (MIC = 32 μg/ml) was assessed by enumerating viable cells at different time intervals up to 24 h. At 2 MICs and 4 MICs, a reduction in the viability of the bacterial cells and endospores was at least 3 log within 6 to 8 h and 2 h after incubation, respectively. Application of the extract in precooked rice and tuna steak demonstrated that after exposure to 16 MICs and 32 MICs, the numbers of viable cells and endospores in both model systems were reduced by at least 2 log within 12 and 6 h, respectively. Since the extract consistently produced remarkable activity against both cells and endospores, it could be used as an alternative food additive for controlling B. cereus without compromising food safety.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology, Natural Products Research Center, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112, Thailand. 2: Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90112, Thailand

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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