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Study of the effectiveness of staphylococcins in biopreservation of Minas fresh (Frescal) cheese with a reduced sodium content

Miceli de Farias, Felipe, dos Santos Nascimento, Janaína, Cabral da Silva Santos, Olinda, de Freire Bastos, Maria do Carmo
International journal of food microbiology 2019 v.304 pp. 19-31
antimicrobial properties, bacteriocins, beta-lactams, biofilm, biopreservation, cell viability, drugs, enterotoxins, food industry, food pathogens, foodborne illness, foods, fresh cheeses, genes, industrial applications, lysostaphin, refrigeration, salt content, sodium, sodium chloride, spoilage microorganisms
Reducing salt content in foods such as cheeses, while limiting the growth of spoilage microorganisms and foodborne pathogens, is a difficult challenge. One method that may prove useful is use of staphylococcins, which are bacteriocins produced by staphylococci.Therefore, staphylococcin antimicrobial activity against six strains of S. aureus isolated from cheese was tested aiming at their industrial application in biopreservation of Minas fresh (Frescal) cheese with reduced sodium content. Three staphylococcins were selected for these tests: Pep 5, aureocin A53 and lysostaphin. All three staphylococcins proved to be bacteriolytic against all six strains of S. aureus. The antimicrobial activity of the partially purified staphylococcins was subsequently investigated against strains S. aureus Q1 and QJ3 in cheese matrices (6.0 log CFU/g) with different NaCl contents (control, a 25% reduction, and a 50% reduction), kept under refrigeration at 4 °C, for 21 days. Both strains were shown to be of concern for food industry as they carry the SEA, SEB and SEH enterotoxin genes, and are resistant to β-lactam drugs and moderate biofilm formers when grown in TSB. When used singly, Pep5, aureocin A53 and lysostaphin reduced approximately 95%, 99% and 99.99% of the viable cell counts, respectively, irrespective of the sodium content of the cheese matrix. The combined action of aureocin A53 and Pep5 resulted in an additional and significant reduction (p < 0.05) of ~1.0 log CFU/g when compared with the reduction caused by the use of either one singly. The combined action of lysostaphin and aureocin A53 or lysostaphin and Pep5 resulted in a reduction similar to or slightly smaller (p > 0.05) than that observed when lysostaphin was employed singly. Lysostaphin also proved to reduce the number of the staphylococcal viable cells to a level (~ 2.0 log CFU/g) at which enterotoxin production should not reach a sufficient quantity to cause food poisoning. Therefore, lysostaphin may have a practical application in the food industry to control staphylococcal contamination of Minas fresh cheese with a sodium content reduced up to 50%, providing consumers with more safe options to reduce their intake of sodium.