Interactions and Inhibition of Pathogenic Foodborne Bacteria with Individual Dissociated Organic Acid Species: A Review

Ross C. Beier

 

Abstract

The World Health Organization in 2017 named 12 pathogens that pose a threat to human health. Estimates of foodborne illnesses in 2011 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a summary report on foodborne outbreaks in 2015 by the European Food Safety Authority identified certain pathogens as a threat to human health. The pathogens described include the following: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 (O157 STECs), and non-O157 STECs. Researchers have suggested that new strategies must be developed to control foodborne pathogens, and the mechanism(s) of bacterial inhibition by organic acids (OAs) must be identified. This review focuses on eight major pathogens, C. jejuni, C. coli, Salmonella spp., E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 STECs, Ps. aeruginosa, vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VRE), and S. aureus and their interactions with OAs. In the studies reviewed the pH was measured at the molar MICs (MICMs), and the concentrations of undissociated and dissociated OAs were calculated at the MICMs using the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation. The inhibition of bacterial strains was not solely dependent on pH or on the concentration of undissociated OAs, but inhibition was clearly correlated with the dissociated OA concentration. These studies show a dissociated OA level of acetic, formic, propionic, citric, ʟ-lactic, and butyric acids at 21.83, 19.81, 18.18, 20.39, 22.23, and 22.56 mM, respectively, needed to inhibit 100% of the bacterial strains studied. It was further observed when a bacterium utilizes an OA for energy production, the concentration of that OA will require a significant increase to cause inhibition of the bacterium.

Published on: February 18, 2021
doi: 10.17756/jfcn.2021-106
Citation: Beier RC. 2021. Interactions and Inhibition of Pathogenic Foodborne Bacteria with Individual Dissociated Organic Acid Species: A Review. J Food Chem Nanotechnol 7(1): 4-17.

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