Investigation of the antimicrobial effect of black cumin oil using Staphylococcus aureus strains

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Authors: Petra Mikulka, Iva Čanak, Jadranka Frece, Csilla Mohácsiné Farkas

Keywords: black cumin oil, thymoquinone, alternative preservation, multidrug resistance, Staphylococcus aureus

1. Summary 
As customer awareness grows, there is an increasing consumer demand for minimally processed food products containing reduced amounts of additives. In order to preserve the safety and stability of foodstuffs, the use of preservatives is necessary in most cases, but their amounts can be reduced or they can be replaced by using alternative preservatives. There are numerous research findings in the scientific literature that support the antimicrobial effect, oxidative stability and scavenger abilities of black cumin oil. These properties, combined with its beneficial physiological effects, make it particularly suitable for use as a natural preservative. The goal of this work was to investigate the antimicrobial effect of black cumin oil in the case of Staphylococcus aureus, a pathogen relevant from a food safety point of view. In order to be able to map the mechanism of action more accurately, we worked with erythromycin, and to test the suitability of the oil in a combined preservation process, it was combined with organic acids.

2. Introduction 
Food-borne illnesses affect about 3 million people annually in Hungary [10], and so efforts to minimize food safety risks are of utmost importance [15], [25]. The use of preservatives can offer a partial solution, however, there has been an increasing demand on the parts of consumers to reduce the amounts of additives in foodstuffs, because harmful health effects, sometimes legitimately, are attributed to them [9]. Using alternative substances with antimicrobial effects the amounts of preservatives added to foodstuffs can be reduced, without any additional adverse health effects.



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