Research – Effects of Selected Essential Oils on Listeria monocytogenes in Biofilms and in a Model Food System

MDPI

Abstract

The composition of 18 essential oils was determined using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, and their antilisterial activity was evaluated by the disk diffusion method, followed by the determination of the minimum inhibitory and minimum bactericidal concentrations. The most active essential oils were oregano, thyme, cinnamon, winter savory, and clove, with MIC values ranging from 0.09 to 1.78 µL/mL. We investigated the biofilm-forming potential of Listeria monocytogenes on polystyrene at 5 °C, 15 °C, and 37 °C in three different media. The formation of biofilm was found to be dependent on the temperature and the availability of nutrients. After treatment with selected essential oils, the reduction in biofilm biomass was in the range of 32.61% and 78.62%. Micromorphological changes in the L. monocytogenes treated by oregano and thyme essential oils were observed in the form of impaired cell integrity and cell lyses by using scanning electron microscope. Oregano and thyme essential oils (MIC and 2MIC) significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the population of L. monocytogenes in minced pork meat during storage at 4 °C. In conclusion, the obtained results indicated the good activity of some selected essential oils on L. monocytogenes, with bacteriostatic, bactericidal, and antibiofilm effects at very low concentrations.

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