Photoirradiated caffeic acid as an antimicrobial treatment for fresh produce.

Research paper by Andrea A Gilbert, Solmaz S Alborzi, Luis J LJ Bastarrachea, Rohan V RV Tikekar

Indexed on: 26 May '18Published on: 26 May '18Published in: FEMS Microbiology Letters


The antimicrobial efficacy of 400 nm photoirradiated caffeic acid (CA, 5 mM) was evaluated against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria innocua. A stronger antimicrobial effect was observed on E. coli than on L. innocua where the combined treatment resulted in 4 and 1 log(CFU/mL) reductions, respectively. The treatment's effects on cellular metabolism (resazurin assay), uptake of caffeic acid (fluorescence technique) and membrane damage (propidium iodide assay) were studied in both species. Caffeic acid uptake increased in both species, but membrane damage was only observed in E. coli O157:H7. The treatment had minimal impact on metabolic activity in both species. The treatment applied to the surface of spinach leaves was found to be effective against E. coli O157:H7. The novel treatment proposed in this study has the potential to improve the microbial food safety of fresh produce.