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Antilisterial activity of lactose monolaurate in milk, drinkable yogurt and cottage cheese

Chen, Y., Nummer, B., Walsh, M.K.
Letters in applied microbiology 2014 v.58 no.2 pp. 156-162
Listeria monocytogenes, cottage cheese, culture media, dodecanoic acid, growth retardation, lactose, milk, yogurt
Lactose monolaurate (LML) was previously found to be an antimicrobial against Listeria monocytogenes in culture medium at concentrations between 3 and 5 mg ml⁻¹. In this study, the microbial inhibitory activity of LML in dairy products inoculated with a 5‐strain cocktail of clinical isolates of L. monocytogenes was investigated. Addition of LML at a concentration of 5 mg ml⁻¹resulted in 4·4, 4·0 and 4·2 log reductions in 0·5% fat, 1% fat and 3·25% fat milks, respectively; 4·1, 4·4, and 3·5 log reductions in nonfat, 1% fat, and 1·5% fat yogurts, respectively; and 4·0 log reductions in both nonfat and 2% fat cottage cheese. The inhibitory effect of LML was only observed at 37°C and not 5°C. Experiments suggest that both the lauric acid and the esterified lactose moiety of LML play roles in the growth inhibition. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: A novel sugar ester, lactose monolaurate, inhibited the growth of a five‐strain cocktail of Listeria monocytogenes in milk, yogurt and cottage cheese. This is the first report of the use of a sugar ester to inhibit the growth of Listeria in food systems.