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J Food Prot. 2009 May;72(5):1107-11.

Inhibitory effect of commercial green tea and rosemary leaf powders on the growth of foodborne pathogens in laboratory media and oriental-style rice cakes.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, Chung-Ang University, 72-1 Nae-ri, Daedeok-myeon, Anseong-si, Gyeonggi-do 456-756, South Korea.


The antimicrobial effects of green tea and rosemary added to foods as antagonists to foodborne pathogens were determined in laboratory media and oriental-style rice cakes. The growth of each pathogen (Bacillus cereus, Salmonella Typhimurium, Enterobacter sakazakii, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes) in tryptic soy broth or rice cake with or without addition of green tea or rosemary leaf powders before autoclaving or cooking, respectively, was investigated after inoculation. The addition of 1% green tea or rosemary produced similar results for inhibiting the growth of pathogens in tryptic soy broth. However, green tea was more effective than rosemary for inhibiting the growth of L. monocytogenes. Both botanicals had inhibitory effects against all pathogens tested in this study. Green tea was particularly effective against B. cereus, S. aureus, and L. monocytogenes, and rosemary was strongly inhibitory against B. cereus and S. aureus. The addition of 1 or 3% green tea or rosemary to rice cakes did not significantly reduce total aerobic counts; however, levels of B. cereus and S. aureus were significantly reduced in rice cakes stored for 3 days at room temperature (22 degrees C). The order of antimicrobial activities against B. cereus in rice cake was 1% rosemary < 1% green tea < 3% rosemary = 3% green tea. These results indicate that the use of natural plant materials such as green tea and rosemary could improve the microbial quality of foods in addition to their functional properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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