Main Article Content
Essential oils (EOs) are mixtures of secondary metabolites of plant origin with many useful properties, among which the antimicrobial activity is also of interest for the food industry. EOs can exert their antimicrobial potential both directly, in food products and active packaging, and indirectly, as sanitizing and anti-biofilm agents of food facility surfaces. Aim of this research was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of four EOs (bergamot, cinnamon, manuka and thyme) against Pseudomonas fluorescens and Staphylococcus aureus isolated from milk and dairy products. The chemical composition of EOs was evaluated by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry analysis. Minimum Inhibitory Concentration values were determined by a microplate method against 9 Ps. fluorescens from marketed mozzarella with blue discoloration defect, and 3 biofilm-producing S. aureus from milk. Reference ATCC strains were included. Pigment production activity by Ps. fluorescens was assessed both in culture and in cheese. EOs of manuka (leptospermone 23%) and thyme (carvacrol 30%, pcymene 20%, thymol 15%) showed the highest antimicrobial activity against S. aureus, MIC values were 0.012%-0.024% and 0.024% v/v, respectively; meanwhile EOs from thyme and cinnamon (cinnamaldehyde 55%) exhibited the best activity against Ps. fluorescens with MIC values of 0.098%-0.195% and 0.195%-0.391% v/v, respectively. The antimicrobial activity of these EOs is promising and they could be exploited in the dairy production chain.
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