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J Food Prot. 2010 Jan;73(1):9-17.

Control of Salmonella on sprouting mung bean and alfalfa seeds by using a biocontrol preparation based on antagonistic bacteria and lytic bacteriophages.

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Department of Food Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.


The following reports on the application of a combination of antagonistic bacteria and lytic bacteriophages to control the growth of Salmonella on sprouting mung beans and alfalfa seeds. Antagonistic bacteria were isolated from mung bean sprouts and tomatoes by using the deferred plate assay to assess anti-Salmonella activity. From the isolates screened, an Enterobacter asburiae strain (labeled "JX1") exhibited stable antagonistic activity against a broad range of Salmonella serovars (Agona, Berta, Enteritidis, Hadar, Heidelberg, Javiana, Montevideo, Muenchen, Newport, Saint Paul, and Typhimurium). Lytic bacteriophages against Salmonella were isolated from pig or cattle manure effluent. A bacteriophage cocktail prepared from six isolates was coinoculated with E. asburiae JX1 along with Salmonella in broth culture. The combination of E. asburiae JX1 and bacteriophage cocktail reduced the levels of Salmonella by 5.7 to 6.4 log CFU/ml. Mung beans inoculated with Salmonella and sprouted over a 4-day period attained levels of 6.72 + or - 0.78 log CFU/g. In contrast, levels of Salmonella were reduced to 3.31 + or - 2.48 or 1.16 + or - 2.14 log CFU/g when the pathogen was coinoculated with bacteriophages or E. asburiae JX1, respectively. However, by using a combination of E. asburiae JX1 and bacteriophages, the levels of Salmonella associated with mung bean sprouts were only detected by enrichment. The biocontrol preparation was effective at controlling the growth of Salmonella under a range of sprouting temperatures (20 to 30 degrees Celsius) and was equally effective at suppressing the growth of Salmonella on sprouting alfalfa seeds. The combination of E. asburiae JX1 and bacteriophages represents a promising, chemical-free approach for controlling the growth of Salmonella on sprouting seeds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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