The Effect of Sodium Chloride and pH on the Antimicrobial Effectiveness of Essential Oils Against Pathogenic and Food Spoilage Bacteria:Implications in Food Safety
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32797
The Effect of Sodium Chloride and pH on the Antimicrobial Effectiveness of Essential Oils Against Pathogenic and Food Spoilage Bacteria:Implications in Food Safety

Authors: P. O. Angienda, D. J. Hill


The purpose of this study was to elucidate the factors affecting antimicrobial effectiveness of essential oils against food spoilage and pathogenic bacteria. The minimum inhibition concentrations (MIC) of the essential oils, were determined by turbidimetric technique using Biocreen C, analyzer. The effects of pH ranging from 7.3 to 5.5 in absence and presence of essential oils and/or NaCl on the lag time and mean generation time of the bacteria at 370C, were carried out and results were determined showed that, combination of low pH and essential oil at 370C had additive effects against the test micro-organisms. The combination of 1.2 % (w/v) of NaCl and clove essential oil at 0.0325% (v/v) was effective against E. coli. The use of concentrations less than MIC in combination with low pH and or NaCl has the potential of being used as an alternative to “traditional food preservatives".

Keywords: Antimicrobial, Bacteria, Bioscreen C, essential oil.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 4781


[1] M. A. Azzouz, and L. B. Bullerman, "Comparative antimycotic effects of selected herbs, spices, plant components and ommercial antifugal agents", J Food Protect, vol. 45, pp. 1298-1301, 1982.
[2] S. G. Deans, and G. Ritchie, "Antibacterial properties of plant essential oils", Int J Food Microbiol, vol. 5, pp. 165-180, 1987.
[3] A. Akgul, and M. Kivanc, "Sensitivity of four foodborne moulds to essential oils from Turkish spices, herbs and citrus peel", J Sci Food Agric, vol. 47, pp. 129-132, 1989.
[4] Y. Y. Hao, R. E. Brackett, and M. P. Doyle, "Efficacy of plant extracts in inhibiting Aeromonas hydrophila and Listeria monocytogenes in refrigerated cooked poultry", Food Microbiol, vol. 15, pp. 367-378, 1998.
[5] H. J. D. Dorman, and S. G. Deans, "Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils", J Appl Microbiol, vol. 88, pp. 308-316, 2000.
[6] A. Ultee, E. P. W. Kets, M. Alberda, F. A. Hoekstra, and E. J. Smid, "Adaptation of the food-borne pathogen Bacillus cereus to carvacrol", Archives of Microbiology, vol. 174 pp. 233- 238, 2000.
[7] B. Ouattara, E. R. Simord, A. R. Holley, P. J. G. Piette, and A. Begin, "Antimicrobial activity of selected fatty acids and essential oils against six meat spoilage microorganisms", Int J Food Microbiol, vol. 37, pp. 155-62, 1997.
[8] A. Smith- Palmer, J. Stewart, and L. Fyfe, "The application of plant essential oils as natural food essential oils as natural food preservatives in soft cheese", Food Microbiol vol. 18, pp. 463-470, 2001.
[9] M. Marino, C. Bersani, and G. Comi, "Impedance measurements to study the antimicrobial activity of essential oils from Lamiacea and Compositae", Int J Food Microbiol, vol. 67, pp. 187-195, 2001.
[10] R. J. W. Lambert, P. N. Skandamis, P. J. Coate, and G. J. E. Nychas, "A study of minimum inhibitoty concentration and mode of action of oregano essential oil, thymol and carvacrol", J Appl Microbiol, vol. 91, pp. 453-462, 2001.
[11] J. P. Delaquis, K. Stanich, B. Girard, and G. Mazza, "Antimicrobial activity of individual and mixed fractions of dill cilantro, coriander and eucalyptus essential oils", Int J Food Microbiol, vol. 74, pp. 101-109, 2002.
[12] G. Pintore, M. Usai, P. Bradesi, C. Juliano, G. Boatto, F. Tomi, M Chessa, R. Cerri, J. Casanova, "Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of Rosmarinus officinalis L. oils fromSardinia and Corsica", Flavour Fragrance J, vol. 17 pp. 15-19, 2002.
[13] S. Harpaz, L. Glatman, V. Drabkin, and A. Gelman, "Effects of herbal essential oils used to extend the shelf life of freshwaterreared Asian sea bass fish (Lates calcarifer)", J Food Protection, vol. 66, pp. 410-417, 2003.
[14] C. Ratledge, and S. G. Wilkinson, "An overview of microbial lipids", In: Ratledge, C.,Wilkinson, S.G. (Eds.), Microbial Lipids, vol. 1. Academic Press, London, 1988, pp. 3-22.
[15] M. Vaara, "Agents that increase the permeability of the outer membrane", Microbiological Reviews, vol. 56, pp. 395-411, 1992.
[16] M. I. Farbood, J. H. Macneil, and K. Ostovar, "Effect of rosemaryspice extractive on growth of microorganisms in meats", J Milk Food Technol, vol. 39 pp. 675-679, 1976
[17] S. Bhurinder, M. B. Falahee, and M. R. Adams, "Synergistic inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes by nisin and garlic extract", Food Microbiol, vol. 18, pp. 133-139, 2001.
[18] G. W. Gould, "Industry perspectives on the use of natural antimicrobials and inhibitors for food applications", J Food Protection, vol. 74, pp. 82- 86, 1996.
[19] S. Burt "Essential oils: their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foodsÔÇöa review", Int J Food Microbiol, vol. 94, pp. 223-253, 2004.
[20] E. Tsigarida, P. Skandamis, and G. J. E. Nychas, "Behaviour of Listeria monocytogenes and autochthonous flora on meat stored under aerobic, vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging conditions with or without the presence of oregano essential oil at 50C", J Appl Microbiolol, vol. 89 pp. 901-909, 2000.
[21] M. P. Doyle, and M. Rosenberg, "Microbial cell surface hydrophobicity", American Society for Microbiology, Washington pp. 425, 1990
[22] P. C. Hsieh, J. L. Mau, S. H. Huang, "Antimicrobial effects of various combinations of plant extracts", Food Microbiol, vol. 18, pp. 35-43, 2001.
[23] M. Valero, S. P. Fernandez, and C. M Salmero, "Influence of pH and temperature on growth of Bacillus cereus in vegetable substrates", Int J Food Microbiol,vol. 82, pp. 71-79, 2003.
[24] N. Canillac, and A. Mourey, "Effects of several environmental factors on the anti-listeria monocytogenes activity of an essential oil of Picea excelsa", Int J Food Microbiol, Vol. 5, pp. 301-310, 2004.
[25] B. J. Juven, J. Kanner, F. Schved, and H. Weisslowicz "Factors that interact with the antibacterial action of thyme essential oil and its active constituents", J Appl Bacteriol, vol. 76, pp. 626-631, 1994.
[26] M. Valero, and F. Salmeron, "Antimicrobial activity of 11 essential oils against Bacillus cereus in tyndalised carrot broth", Int J Food Microbiol, vol. 85, pp. 73-81, 2002.
[27] A. Ultee and E. J. Smid, "Influence of carvacrol on growth and toxin production by Bacillus cereus", Int J Food Microbiol, vol. 64, pp. 373- 378, 2000.
[28] G. J. E. Nychas, "Natural antimicrobials from plants. In:Gould, G.W. (Ed.), New Methods of Food Preservation", Blackie Academic and Professional, London, 1995, pp. 58-89.
[29] A. Ultee, L. G. M. Gorris, and E. J. Smid, "Antimicrobial activity towards Bacillus cereus on rice", J Food Protection, vol. 63, pp. 620- 624, 2002.
[30] T. F. Brocklehurst, M. L. Parker, P. A. Gunning, H. P. Coleman, and M. M. Robins, "Growth of food-borne pathogenic bacteria in oil-in-water emulsions: II. Effect of emulsion structure on growth parameters and form of growth", J Appl Bacteriol, vol. 78, pp. 609-615, 1995.
[31] J. Sikkema, J. A. M. De Bont, and B. Poolman, "Interactions of cyclic hydrocarbons with biological membranes", J Biol Chem, vol. 269, pp. 8022-8028, 1994.
[32] I. M. Helander, H. L. Alakomi, K. Latva-Kala, T. Mattila-Sandholm, I. Pol, E. J. Smid, L. G. M. Gorris, and A. Von Wright, "Characterization of the action of selected essential oil components on Gram-negative bacteria", J AgricFood Chem, vol. 46, pp. 3590-3595, 1998.
[33] C. N. Wendakoon, and M. Sakaguchi, "Inhibition of amino acid decarboxylase activity of Enterobacter aerogenes by active components in spices", J Food Protection, vol.58, pp. 280-283, 1995.
[34] M. Valero, and F. Salmeron, "Antimicrobial activity of 11 essential oils against Bacillus cereus in tyndalised carrot broth", Int J Food Microbiol, vol. 85, pp. 73-81, 2002.
[35] M. J. Grande, R. Lucas, H. Abriouel, et al. "Treatment of vegetable sauces with enterocin AS-48 alone or in combination with phenolic compounds to inhibit proliferation of Staphylococcus aureus", J. Food Protection, vol. 70, 405-411, 2007.
[36] M. Sinigaglia, A. Bevilacqua, M. R. Corbo, S. Pati, and M. A. Del Nobile, "Use of active compounds for prolonging the shelf life of mozzarella cheese", Int Dairy J, vol. 18, pp. 624-630, 2008.
[37] B. S. M. Mahmoud, K. Yamazaki, K. Miyashita, I. S. Shin, D. Chong, and T. Suzuki, "A new technology for fish preservation by combined treatment with electrolyzed NaCl solutions and essential oil compounds", Food Chem, 99, 656-662, 2006.