Biofilms represent a serious problem for food industries due to their persistence in processing surfaces, from which they can cause food spoilage or, even worse, lead to foodborne diseases. Microorganisms immersed in biofilms are more resistant to biocides. The search for natural effective alternatives for the prevention and the control of biofilms has increased lately. The aim of this research was to test the antibacterial and the anti-biofilm activities of cinnamon, onion, and garlic essential oils against Listeria monocytogenes
. The methodology highlighted first the effect of these essential oils on L. monocytogenes
using disc diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) methods and then on initial cell attachment and six hours preformed biofilms. The inhibition of biofilms was assessed by crystal violet assay. Sulfides were the most abundant compounds present in onion and garlic essential oils, while cinnamaldehyde was predominant in cinnamon essential oil. MIC values were of 0.025 mg mL−1
for onion essential oil and 0.100 mg mL−1
for cinnamon and garlic. Onion essential oil inhibited initial cell attachment by 77% at 0.5 of the MIC dose, while at MIC, cinnamon and garlic essential oils inhibited the initial microbial adhesion completely. All three essential oils completely inhibited initial cell attachment when applied at 2 MIC. On the contrary, preformed biofilms were more resistant, and the inhibition rate ranged from 33% to 78%. In summary, this investigation revealed that the essential oils of garlic, onion, and cinnamon show an effective antibiofilm activity against L. monocytogenes
and are promising natural antimicrobial alternatives for food processing facilities.
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