Santos MIS, Martins SR, Veríssimo CSC, Nunes MJC, Lima AIG, Ferreira RMSB, Pedroso L, Sousa I, Ferreira MASS
Journal of Food Science and Technology, 2017
Most studies evaluating the use of essential oils (EO) as antibacterial agents focus mainly on minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) rather than minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBC). In this work, we compared MICs and MBCs of EO from condiment plants commonly used in Mediterranean Europe, namely Origanum vulgare, Salvia lavandulaefolia, Salvia officinalis, Salvia sclarea and Rosmarinus officinalis, aiming to evaluate their application as disinfecting agents in minimally processed produce. Outbreaks-related pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Yarrowia lipolytica were used. Results showed that all EO were able to reduce bacterial growth in all bacterial strains tested, particularly O. vulgare. However, fewer EO exhibited bactericidal activities, and were only effective against one or two bacterial strains, hence eliminating the possibility to use them as broad range disinfectants. Furthermore, the necessary concentrations were too high for food application. Hence, our work suggests the need to evaluate MBC rather than MIC and questions EO usefulness in controlling undesired microorganisms. Overall, and despite the large volume of data published on EO, results obtained were not very encouraging for a realistic application on produce and question the viability of EOs as disinfecting agents in food.
Santos MIS, Martins SR, Veríssimo CSC et al. Essential oils as antibacterial agents against food-borne pathogens: Are they really as useful as they are claimed to be? J Food Sci Technol. 2017 Dec;54(13):4344-4352. doi: 10.1007/s13197-017-2905-0. Epub 2017 Oct 9.