Main content area

Development of antimicrobial films for microbiological control of packaged salad

Muriel-Galet, Virginia, Cerisuelo, Josep P., López-Carballo, Gracia, Lara, Marta, Gavara, Rafael, Hernández-Muñoz, Pilar
International journal of food microbiology 2012 v.157 no.2 pp. 195-201
Escherichia coli, Gram-negative bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica, antimicrobial agents, antimicrobial properties, cell membranes, consumers (people), essential oils, flora, oregano, pathogens, risk, salads, sensory properties, spoilage
The aim of the present work was to characterize the antimicrobial efficiency of films consisting of PP/EVOH structures with oregano essential oil and citral. Both substances are known for their antimicrobial activity based on their interaction with the cell membrane. The films developed were used to pack minimally processed salads, combining modified atmosphere technology to extend shelf-life and active packaging technology to reduce possible microbiological risks. The antimicrobial activity of the films against the pathogenic microorganisms Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes and natural microflora was investigated “in vitro” and also on the food itself. The effect of release of the antimicrobial agent on the sensory characteristics of the salad was also studied. The results showed that antimicrobial activity reduced spoilage flora on the salad as well as inhibited the growth of pathogens in contaminated salads. This effect was greater against Gram-negative bacteria. Sensory studies showed that the package that was most effective and most accepted by customers was the one containing 5% oregano essential oil.