Academic article

Evaluation of Natural Antimicrobials on Typical Meat Spoilage Bacteria In Vitro and in Vacuum-Packed Pork Meat

Schirmer, Bjørn Christian; Langsrud, Solveig

Publication details

Journal: Journal of Food Science, vol. 75, p. M98–M102, 2010

Issue: 2

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0022-1147
Electronic: 1750-3841

Open Access: none


The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effect of natural antimicrobials on the growth of typical spoilage bacteria from marinated pork. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of thymol, cinnamaldehyde, allyl isothiocyanate, citric acid, ascorbic acid, a rosemary extract, and a grapefruit seed extract against Lactobacillus algidus, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Leuconostoc carnosum, Carnobacterium maltaromaticum, Carnobacterium divergens, Brochothrix thermosphacta, and Serratia proteamaculans were determined in a microplate assay. Combinations of antimicrobials were tested and several combinations showed synergistic effects in inhibiting bacterial growth. Single and combined antimicrobials were added to vacuum-packed pork meat to evaluate preserving effects. Antimicrobial concentrations of up to 10 times the MIC values showed no effect on total bacterial growth in vacuum packed pork meaning that although most antimicrobials inhibited the growth of spoilage bacteria in vitro, results from the microplate assay could not be transferred to the meat system. Most natural antimicrobials possess strong odor and flavor that limit their use as a food preservative. In conclusion, this study showed that the use of natural antimicrobials in meat products is limited and that bacterial quality and shelf life was not enhanced under the chosen conditions.