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J Food Prot. 2008 Feb;71(2):319-24.

Antimicrobial activity of lactoferrin against foodborne pathogenic bacteria incorporated into edible chitosan film.

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  • 1Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, 200 D Campbell Hall, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama 36088, USA.


The objectives of this research were to develop and characterize edible chitosan film containing lactoferrin as a natural antimicrobial agent, and to investigate the combination effects of lactoferrin with lysozyme in chitosan film against the growth of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes. Chitosan films containing lactoferrin, lysozyme, or nisin were fabricated, and the antimicrobial concentrations were 0.5, 1, or 2 mg in a circular disc of chitosan film. Three concentrations of lactoferrin or EDTA (0.28, 0.56, or 1.12 mg per disc) were also incorporated into the chitosan film containing lysozyme to investigate the combination effects of lactoferrin. The water barrier properties of the chitosan films containing lactoferrin were characterized. The antimicrobial activities against E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes were determined using the agar diffusion assay and cell count assay. The chitosan films containing lactoferrin less than 1 mg per disc did not alter the water vapor permeability of the chitosan film. Although the film containing lysozyme exhibited significant antimicrobial activity, the incorporation of lactoferrin alone into chitosan film did not exhibit significant antimicrobial activity against both E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes. However, the combination of lactoferrin with lysozyme-containing chitosan film significantly decreased the growth of E. coli O157:H7, exhibiting a comparable effect to that of the combination of EDTA with lysozyme (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the combination of lactoferrin with lysozyme in chitosan film exhibited greater reduction in the growth of L. monocytogenes than did the combination EDTA with lysozyme, resulting in an approximate 3-log reduction.

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