Antimicrobial activity of essential oils against Staphylococcus aureus in fresh sheep cheese

Submitted: 12 May 2013
Accepted: 19 February 2014
Published: 28 August 2014
Abstract Views: 1984
HTML: 346
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Essential oils (EOs) are aromatic oily liquids extracted from different parts of specific plants, well known especially for their aromatic and antibacterial properties. Nowadays, EOs are exploited in the food sector mainly for their aromatic properties. Thanks to their antimicrobial activity, however, they could also be used as additives to increase the safety and the shelf-life of food products. Aim of this study was to assess the antimicrobial activity of Thymus vulgaris L. oil and of Origanum vulgare L. oil against Staphylococcus aureus both in vitro and on fresh cheese, and to determine whether the use of EOs can modify the microbiological and/or chemical-physical properties of the products. The antimicrobial activity against S. aureus in vitro was assessed by preparation of the aromatogram (diffusion in agar test), minimum inhibitory concentration test and minimum bactericidal concentration assessment. Raw sheep milk was experimentally contaminated with a strain of S. aureus ATCC 25922 and was used to produce three types of fresh cheese: without EOs, with thyme and oregano EOs (both EOs at a concentration of 1:1000). The samples were analysed on the day of production, after three and seven days. The results obtained from the tests showed that the concentration of S. aureus and the counts of lactic flora remained unchanged for all types of cheese. Even the chemical-physical parameters were constant. The results of inhibition tests on the cheese disagree with those relating to the in vitro tests. Most likely this is due to the ability of EOs to disperse in the lipids the food: the higher the fat content is, the lower the oil fraction will be able to exert the antimicrobial activity.



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Supporting Agencies

Ministero della Salute

How to Cite

Amatiste S, Sagrafoli D, Giacinti G, Rosa G, Carfora V, Marri N, Tammaro A, Bovi E, Rosati R. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils against Staphylococcus aureus in fresh sheep cheese. Ital J Food Safety [Internet]. 2014 Aug. 28 [cited 2024 Jul. 13];3(3). Available from: