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Article

Synergistic Action of Mild Heat and Essential Oil Treatments on Culturability and Viability of Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 Tested In Vitro and in Fruit Juice

1
Department for Sustainability, Biotechnologies and Agroindustry Division, ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Casaccia Research Center, 00123 Rome, Italy
2
Centre for Food and Nutrition Research, Institute of Medical Research and Medicinal Plants Studies (IMPM), Yaoundé P.O. Box 6163, Cameroon
3
Food Evolution Research Laboratory, School of Tourism and Hospitality, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
4
Department of Agriculture and Forest Sciences, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
5
Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Science, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20122 Milan, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Haiying Cui
Foods 2022, 11(11), 1615; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11111615
Received: 28 April 2022 / Revised: 24 May 2022 / Accepted: 26 May 2022 / Published: 30 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Food Microbiology)
The strengthening effect of a mild temperature treatment on the antimicrobial efficacy of essential oils has been widely reported, often leading to an underestimation or a misinterpretation of the product’s microbial status. In the present study, both a traditional culture-based method and Flow Cytometry (FCM) were applied to monitor the individual or combined effect of Origanum vulgare essential oil (OEO) and mild heat treatment on the culturability and viability of Escherichia coli in a conventional culture medium and in a fruit juice challenge test. The results obtained in the culture medium showed bacterial inactivation with an increasing treatment temperature (55 °C, 60 °C, 65 °C), highlighting an overestimation of the dead population using the culture-based method; in fact, when the FCM method was applied, the prevalence of injured bacterial cells in a viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state was observed. When commercial fruit juice with a pH of 3.8 and buffered at pH 7.0 was inoculated with E. coli ATCC 25922, a bactericidal action of OEO and a higher efficiency of the mild heat at 65 °C for 5′ combined with OEO were found. Overall, the combination of mild heat and OEO treatment represents a promising antimicrobial alternative to improve the safety of fruit juice. View Full-Text
Keywords: food safety; shelf-life; mild heat treatment; Origanum essential oil; fruit juice; E. coli food safety; shelf-life; mild heat treatment; Origanum essential oil; fruit juice; E. coli
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MDPI and ACS Style

Di Gregorio, L.; Tchuenchieu, A.; Poscente, V.; Arioli, S.; Del Fiore, A.; Costanzo, M.; Giorgi, D.; Lucretti, S.; Bevivino, A. Synergistic Action of Mild Heat and Essential Oil Treatments on Culturability and Viability of Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 Tested In Vitro and in Fruit Juice. Foods 2022, 11, 1615. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11111615

AMA Style

Di Gregorio L, Tchuenchieu A, Poscente V, Arioli S, Del Fiore A, Costanzo M, Giorgi D, Lucretti S, Bevivino A. Synergistic Action of Mild Heat and Essential Oil Treatments on Culturability and Viability of Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 Tested In Vitro and in Fruit Juice. Foods. 2022; 11(11):1615. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11111615

Chicago/Turabian Style

Di Gregorio, Luciana, Alex Tchuenchieu, Valeria Poscente, Stefania Arioli, Antonella Del Fiore, Manuela Costanzo, Debora Giorgi, Sergio Lucretti, and Annamaria Bevivino. 2022. "Synergistic Action of Mild Heat and Essential Oil Treatments on Culturability and Viability of Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 Tested In Vitro and in Fruit Juice" Foods 11, no. 11: 1615. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11111615

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