Comparative inhibitory effects of Thymus vulgaris L. essential oil against Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and mesophilic starter co-culture in cheese-mimicking models

  • de Carvalho R
  • de Souza G
  • Honório V
 et al. 
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Abstract

In the present study, we assessed the effects of Thymus vulgaris L. essential oil (TVEO) on Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes, pathogenic bacteria frequently associated with fresh or low-ripened cheeses (e.g., Brazilian coalho cheese), and on a starter co-culture comprising Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis and L.lactis subsp. c. remoris, which are commonly used for the production of different cheeses. To measure these effects, we determined the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and assessed bacterial cell viability over time in (coalho) cheese-based broth and in a semi-solid (coalho) cheese model at 10°C. The MIC for TVEO was 2.5μL/mL against S.aureus and L.monocytogenes, while the MIC was 1.25μL/mL against the starter co-culture. The TVEO (5 and 2.5μL/mL) sharply reduced the viable counts of all assayed bacteria in cheese broth over 24h; although, at 5μL/mL, TVEO more severely affected the viability of the starter co-culture compared with pathogenic bacteria. The addition of 1.25μL/g of TVEO in the semi-solid cheese model did not reduce the viable counts of all assayed bacteria. At 2.5μL/g, TVEO slightly decreased the viable counts of S.aureus, L.monocytogenes and Lactococcus spp. in the semi-solid cheese model over 72h. The final counts of Lactococcus spp. in a semi-solid cheese model containing 2.5μL/mL TVEO were lower than those of pathogenic bacteria under the same conditions. These results suggest that the doses of TVEO used to control pathogenic bacteria in fermented dairy products, especially in low-ripened cheeses, should be cautiously considered for potential negative effects on the growth and survival of starter cultures.

Author-supplied keywords

  • antimicrobial activity
  • low-ripened cheese
  • pathogenic bacteria
  • technological culture
  • thymus

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Authors

  • Rayssa Julliane de Carvalho

  • Geanny Targino de Souza

  • Vanessa Gonçalves Honório

  • Jossana Pereira de Sousa

  • Maria Lúcia da Conceição

  • Marciane Maganani

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