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Int J Food Microbiol. 2003 Aug 15;85(1-2):73-81.

Antibacterial activity of 11 essential oils against Bacillus cereus in tyndallized carrot broth.

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Departamento de Producción Vegetal y Microbiología, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Orihuela, Universidad Miguel Hernández-Campus de Orihuela, Carretera de Beniel, Km 3.2, 03312, Alicante, Orihuela, Spain.


The antibacterial activity of 11 essential oils from aromatic plants against the strain INRA L2104 of the foodborne pathogen Bacillus cereus grown in carrot broth at 16 degrees C was studied. The quantity needed by the essential oils of nutmeg, mint, clove, oregano, cinnamon, sassafras, sage, thyme or rosemary to produce 14-1110% relative extension of the lag phase was determined. Total growth inhibition of bacterial spores was observed for some of the antimicrobial agents assayed. The addition of 5 microl cinnamon essential oil per 100 ml of broth in combination with refrigeration temperatures of <or=8 degrees C produced the conditions necessary to inhibit the growth of B. cereus for at least 60 days in a model, refrigerated minimally processed food product, made with carrots and tyndallized. This is especially important considering that the psychrotrophic enterotoxigenic strain of B. cereus INRA TZ415 was able to grow in this substrate at low temperatures in the absence of any essential oil. Furthermore, the study of the sensory characteristics of the final product suggests that the use of cinnamon essential oil can be considered as an alternative to "traditional food preservatives".

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