International journal of food microbiology

Bacterial maximum non-inhibitory and minimum inhibitory concentrations of different water activity depressing solutes.

PMID 25090605


The NaCl MNICs (maximum non-inhibitory concentrations) and MICs (minimum inhibitory concentrations) for growth of various strains of six bacterial species were determined and then compared with those obtained for seven other solutes. The influence of prior growth conditions on the MNICs and MICs was also evaluated. No significant changes on the MNICs and MICs were found among the strains studied within each species. Among all factors investigated, only growth phase -for Gram-negatives- and growth at high NaCl concentrations led to a change in the NaCl MNICs. Species could be classified depending on its NaCl MNICs and MICs (in decreasing order) as follows: Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Cronobacter sakazakii, Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia coli and Salmonella Typhimurium. Similar results were obtained for KCl, LiCl, and sodium acetate, but not for the remaining solutes investigated (sucrose, glycerol, MgCl2 and CaCl2). Results obtained indicate that, in general, Gram-negatives showed lower MNICs and MICs than Gram-positives for all the solutes, S. aureus being the most solute tolerant microorganism. When compared on a molar basis, glycerol showed the highest MNICs and MICs for all the microorganisms -except for S. aureus- and LiCl the lowest ones. NaCl MNICs and MICs were not significantly different from those of KCl when compared on a molar basis. Therefore, the inhibitory action of NaCl could not be linked to the specific action of Na(+). Results also showed that the Na(+) tolerance of some species was Cl(-) dependent whereas for others it was not, and that factors others than aw-decrease contribute to the inhibitory action of LiCl, CaCl2 and MgCl2.