Journal of food science

Antimicrobial efficiency of essential oil and freeze-thaw treatments against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica Ser. Enteritidis in strawberry juice.

PMID 19397729


This study investigated the antimicrobial efficiency of 3 essential oils (EOs), lemongrass, cinnamon leaf, and basil, and freeze-thaw treatment, alone or in combination, against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica Ser. Enteritidis inoculated in strawberry juice stored at 7 degrees C. EO of lemongrass or cinnamon leaf at 0.1 to 2 microL/mL and freezing at -23 degrees C for 24 or 48 h followed by thawing at 7 degrees C for 4 h all showed significant antimicrobial activities (P < 0.05) against E. coli O157:H7 and S. Enteritidis in strawberry juice. The antimicrobial activity increased with increasing EO concentration and storage time, but extending freezing time from 24 to 48 h did not enhance the antimicrobial activity of freeze-thaw treatment (P > 0.05). EO of lemongrass or cinnamon leaf at 0.1 microL/mL and freeze-thaw treatment alone obtained a 5 log(10) reduction in the population of S. Enteritidis, while EOs at 0.1 to 0.3 microL/mL or freeze-thaw alone could not achieve a satisfactory protection against E. coli O157:H7 in strawberry juice. Combined EO and freeze-thaw treatment enhanced the overall antimicrobial effect against E. coli O157:H7, with adding EO before the freeze-thaw treatment showed a faster decontamination rate than when added EO after the freeze-thaw. EOs of lemongrass and cinnamon leaf at 0.1 or 0.3 microL/mL followed by the freeze-thawing resulted in a 5 log(10) reduction in E. coli O157:H7 on the 5th and 2nd day of storage, respectively. This study suggested that combined EO and freeze-thaw treatment may be a suitable and inexpensive method to eliminate microorganisms that can be a hazard for the consumers of unpasteurized berry juices.

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