Antibacterial activity of oregano essential oil against foodborne pathogens

Marília Gonçalves Cattelan (Department of Food Engineering, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, São Paulo, Brazil)
Maurício Bonatto Machado de Castilhos (Department of Food Engineering, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, São Paulo, Brazil)
Priscila Juliana Pinsetta Sales (Department of Food Engineering, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, São Paulo, Brazil)
Fernando Leite Hoffmann (Department of Food Engineering, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, São Paulo, Brazil)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Publication date: 22 March 2013

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate in vitro antibacterial activity of oregano essential oil against foodborne pathogens as a starting point for the use of spice as a natural preservative in food.

Design/methodology/approach

Disc and well‐diffusion assays were performed to investigate antibacterial activity of oregano essential oil against six bacteria strains: Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella Typhimurium. Three concentrations of oregano essential oil were employed: 1.0 percent, 2.0 percent and 5.0 percent. Bacterial growth inhibition was determinate as the diameter of the inhibition zones.

Findings

Oregano essential oil showed antibacterial activity against spoilage microorganisms, at different concentrations, except for P. aeruginosa. There was a significant difference between methodologies only for the microorganism S. aureus. The results provided evidence of the existence of significant differences among the concentrations of oregano essential oil for each microorganism evaluated.

Research limitations/implications

Although the research for this paper involved only oregano essential oil, it provided a starting‐point for further investigations concerning spices as natural preservatives for food systems.

Practical implications

Disc and well‐assays were found to be simple and reproducible practical methods. Other spices, their essential oil and extracts might be researched against other micro‐organisms. Furthermore, in situ studies need to be performed to evaluate possible interactions between essential oils and compounds naturally present in food against microbial strains.

Social implications

The imminent adoption of measures to reduce the use of additives in foods and the reduction on using such compounds.

Originality/value

This study provides insights that suggest a promising exploratory development of food natural preservative against spoilage microorganisms in food systems by the use of oregano essential oil.

Keywords

Citation

Gonçalves Cattelan, M., Bonatto Machado de Castilhos, M., Juliana Pinsetta Sales, P. and Leite Hoffmann, F. (2013), "Antibacterial activity of oregano essential oil against foodborne pathogens", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 169-174. https://doi.org/10.1108/00346651311313544

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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