Main content area

Variable Efficacy of the Proteinaceous Antifungal YvgO in Select Fruit Juices and Teas as a Complement with UV Methods of Food Protection

Manns, David C., Churey, John J., Worobo, Randy W.
Journal of food protection 2015 v.78 no.10 pp. 1851-1860
Byssochlamys fulva, apple cider, apple juice, bacteria, beverages, blueberries, bovine serum albumin, cherries, cranberries, cytotoxicity, food safety, fungal spores, fungi, grape juice, green tea, inoculum, shelf life, tetrazolium, ultraviolet radiation
Heat-resistant fungal spores present a processing challenge for beverages and fruit juices, as thermal and UV strategies are often inadequate in reducing heat-resistant fungal burdens to acceptable levels. While effective against pathogenic or invasive bacteria, germicidal UV light treatments also fail to achieve an appreciable reduction of heat-resistant fungal spores. As an alternative, the efficacy of the antifungal protein YvgO was examined across a selection of fruit juices and teas, as well as solid model matrices. Compared with its efficacy in analogous liquid matrices, the apparent efficacy of YvgO was diminished on acidified solid matrices due to a reduction in YvgO diffusion. Using an XTT [2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide] tetrazolium dye cytotoxicity assay, the effective concentrations to reduce growth by 50% were elucidated in samples challenged with Byssochlamys fulva H25. The MICs were determined and ranged from 2 ppm in apple juice and acidified teas to approximately 3 to 12 ppm for lemonade and orange, white cranberry, blueberry, prune, cherry, and grape juices. Apple cider and nonacidified teas showed reduced efficacy, with MICs exceeding 100 ppm. Tannin-rich products readily removed YvgO from the product, impairing its efficacy. Adding bovine serum albumin as a competitive inhibitor effectively reversed the YvgO-tannin association and restored efficacy in black but not green tea matrices. When challenged with a 5-log CFU inoculum of B. fulva, the shelf lives of the products were extended for various times up to 28 days in a concentrationdependent manner. However, initial efficacy was not predictive of shelf life extension, as some products exhibited improved protection at just two- and fourfold concentrations above the MIC, while others only exhibited long-term stability when concentrations exceeded 20 times the MIC. As such, YvgO may be an attractive alternative to currently available protection strategies and will provide needed diversity for natural food protectants.