University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Natural antimicrobial


The ability to control Listeria monocytogenes on ready-to-eat poultry products using carboxymethyl-cellulose film coatings containing green tea extract (GTE), malic acid (M), nisin (N), and their combinations was evaluated. The antimicrobials (GTE: 1.0%, nisin: 10,000 IU/g, malic acid: 1.0%) were incorporated alone or in combination into a carboxymethyl cellulose film coating. Pre-inoculated, fully cooked chicken pieces (~1g, 1cm x 1cm x 1cm) were coated with the film solution. The coated chicken pieces were stored at 4°C and the inhibitory activity against Listeria monocytogenes was evaluated at 0, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days. The highest inhibitory activity was found in the sample containing GTE, nisin, and malic acid in combination with a reduction of 3.3 log CFU/mL. These data demonstrate that GTE—combined with nisin and malic acid and incorporated into a carboxymethyl-cellulose film coating, multiple-hurdle technology—is effective in inhibiting L. monocytogenes growth on fully cooked chicken pieces at 4°C. Research in the area of finding natural antimicrobials to aid in the prevention of food-borne illnesses is necessary to improve safety and shelf life of products such as ready-to-eat meats. This project provides an effective combination of natural anti-microbials to control L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat chicken pieces.