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J Food Prot. 2005 Oct;68(10):2054-8.

Antimicrobial effect of Thai spices against Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella typhimurium DT104.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, 2605 River Drive, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4591, USA.


The objective of this study was to determine the potential antimicrobial activity of extracts and essential oils of spices from Thailand against foodborne pathogenic bacteria. The antimicrobial efficacy of ginger (Zingiber officinale), fingerroot (Boesenbergia pandurata), and turmeric (Curcuma longa) was evaluated against five strains of Listeria monocytogenes and four strains of Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica serovar Typhimurium DT104. Antimicrobial activity was investigated in microbiological media by using an agar dilution assay and enumeration over time and a model food system, apple juice, by monitoring growth over time. In the agar dilution assay, water extracts of the three spices had no effect on L. monocytogenes. Similarly, 50% ethanol extracts of ginger or turmeric had no effect. In contrast, ethanolic fingerroot extracts at 5 to 10% (vol/ vol) inhibited most L. monocytogenes strains for 24 h in the agar dilution assay. Commercial essential oils (EO) of ginger or turmeric inhibited all L. monocytogenes at < or = 0.6 or < or = 10%, respectively. Fingerroot EO inhibited all strains at < or = 0.4%. In the enumeration-over-time assay, a 5% fingerroot ethanol extract reduced ca. 4 log CFU/ml Listeria by around 2 log in 24 h while 10% inactivated the microorganism in 9 h. Fingerroot EO at 0.2% inactivated 4 log CFU/ml L. monocytogenes in 6 to 9 h. Neither extracts nor commercial EO had any effect on Salmonella Typhimurium DT 104 with the exception of fingerroot EO, which inhibited all strains at < or = 0.7%. Addition of 0.2% fingerroot EO to apple juice reduced 4 log of L. monocytogenes Scott A and both strains of Salmonella Typhimurium to an undetectable level within 1 to 2 days. It was concluded that fingerroot EO and extract have potential for inhibiting pathogens in food systems.

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