Antimicrobial activity of several herb and spice extracts in culture medium and in vacuum-packaged pork

Baohua Kong, Jinzhi Wang, Youling L. Xiong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Extracts prepared from honeysuckle, Scutellaria, Forsythia suspensa (Thunb), cinnamon, and rosemary with 75% ethanol and from clove oil dissolved in 75% ethanol were applied to inoculated agar media to observe their inhibitory effects on the growth of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Lactobacillus plantarum. All the extracts suppressed the growth of these bacteria; Scutellaria exhibited the strongest effect against E. coli. An orthogonal test revealed that the most effective antimicrobial composite extracts were equal-volume mixtures of 0.125 g/ml Scutellaria + 0.5 g/ml honeysuckle + 0.125 g/ml Forsythia + 0.25 g/ml cinnamon and 0.25 g/ml cinnamon + 0.125 g/ml rosemary + 0.25% clove oil. These mixed extracts also produced strong antimicrobial effects in vacuum-packaged fresh pork, with 1.81- to 2.32-log reductions in microbial counts compared with the control when stored for up to 28 days. The sensory panel detected minimal differences in surface color and off-odors between meat samples treated with herb-spice extracts and the control. These results indicate that combined herb and spice extracts can be used as natural antimicrobials for food preservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-647
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology


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