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Inhibiting foodborne pathogens Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Listeria monocytogenes using extracts from traditional medicine: Chinese gallnut, pomegranate peel, Baikal skullcap root and forsythia fruit

Jian Wu / Katheryn M. Goodrich / Joseph D. Eifert / Michael L. Jahncke / Sean F. O’Keefe / Gregory E. Welbaum / Andrew P. Neilson
Published Online: 2018-06-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2018-0017


Foodborne illnesses have been a heavy burden in the United States and globally. Many medicinal herbs have been cultivated in the US and many of which contain antimicrobial compounds with the potential to be used for food preservation. Methanol/water extracts of pomegranate peel (“PP”, Punica Granatum L.), Chinese gallnut (“CG”, Galla chinensis), Forsythia fruit (“FF”, Forsythia suspensa) and Baikal skullcap root (“BS”, Scutellaria baicalensis) were tested for antimicrobial activity using the agar diffusion assay on tryptic soy agar (TSA) and microdilution assay in tryptic soy broth (TSB). CG and PP extracts showed good to excellent inhibitory effect against Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Listeria monocytogenes in both assays, with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) range from 0.04 to 5 mg/mL. BS had moderate inhibitory effects against V. parahaemolyticus with an MIC of 5 mg/mL in TSB, and against L. monocytogenes with an MIC of 20 mg/mL on TSA. CG was analyzed using LC-MS and fractionated using HPLC. The major components were identified as gallic acid, digallic acid, methyl gallate, and gallotannins (oligo-galloyl-D-glucose, nGG, n = 1~10). Six fractions (I - VI) were collected and their antibacterial activities were tested against L. monocytogenes, and V. parahaemolyticus both on TSA and in TSB. On TSA, fraction III, IV and V inhibited V. parahaemolyticus but no fraction inhibited L. monocytogenes. In TSB, all fractions inhibited V. parahaemolyticus and fractions II - V inhibited L. monocytogenes. Future studies are needed to investigate the effects of medicinal plants on food products.

Keywords: Chinese gallnut; pomegranate peel; Vibrio; Listeria. Gallotannins; LC-MS


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About the article

Received: 2018-01-28

Accepted: 2018-05-10

Published Online: 2018-06-21

Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 163–170, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2018-0017.

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© 2018 Jian Wu, et al., published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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