Edible apple film wraps containing plant antimicrobials inactivate foodborne pathogens on meat and poultry products

Sadhana Ravishankar, Libin Zhu, Carl W. Olsen, Tara H. McHugh, Mendel Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT Apple-based edible films containing plant antimicrobials were evaluated for their activity against pathogenic bacteria on meat and poultry products. Salmonella enterica or E. coli O157:H7 (107 CFU/g) cultures were surface inoculated on chicken breasts and Listeria monocytogenes (10 6 CFU/g) on ham. The inoculated products were then wrapped with edible films containing 3 concentrations (0.5%, 1.5%, and 3%) of cinnamaldehyde or carvacrol. Following incubation at either 23 or 4 °C for 72 h, samples were stomached in buffered peptone water, diluted, and plated for enumeration of survivors. The antimicrobial films exhibited concentration-dependent activities against the pathogens tested. At 23 °C on chicken breasts, films with 3% antimicrobials showed the highest reductions (4.3 to 6.8 log CFU/g) of both S. enterica and E. coli O157:H7. Films with 1.5% and 0.5% antimicrobials showed 2.4 to 4.3 and 1.6 to 2.8 log reductions, respectively. At 4 °C, carvacrol exhibited greater activity than did cinnamaldehyde. Films with 3%, 1.5%, and 0.5% carvacrol reduced the bacterial populations by about 3, 1.6 to 3, and 0.8 to 1 logs, respectively. Films with 3% and 1.5% cinnamaldehyde induced 1.2 to 2.8 and 1.2 to 1.3 log reductions, respectively. For L. monocytogenes on ham, carvacrol films induced greater reductions than did cinnamaldehyde films at all concentrations tested. In general, the reduction of L. monocytogenes on ham at 23 °C was greater than at 4 °C. Added antimicrobials had minor effects on physical properties of the films. The results suggest that the food industry and consumers could use these films as wrappings to control surface contamination by foodborne pathogenic microorganisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)M440-M445
JournalJournal of Food Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Antimicrobial edible apple films
  • Carvacrol
  • Cinnamaldehyde
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Ham
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Poultry
  • Salmonella enterica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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