Inhibition of Lactic Acid Bacteria by Herbs

Authors

  • LAURA L. ZAIKA,

    1. Authors Zaika, Kissinger, and Wasserman are with the USDA-ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 E. Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118.
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  • JOHN C. KISSINGER,

    1. Authors Zaika, Kissinger, and Wasserman are with the USDA-ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 E. Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118.
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  • AARON E. WASSERMAN

    1. Authors Zaika, Kissinger, and Wasserman are with the USDA-ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 E. Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118.
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  • The authors acknowledge the skilled technical assistance of Aaron C. Williams in carrying out the experiments.

  • Reference to a brand or firm name does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture over others of a similar nature not mentioned.

ABSTRACT

Increasing concentrations (0.5–8g/liter) of oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme progressively delayed growth and acid production by Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus acidilactici in a liquid medium. After the bacteriostatic activity was overcome, all four herbs strongly stimulated acid production. The relative inhibitory effect of the herbs toward both microorganisms was oregano ≫ rosemary = sage gt; thyme. L. plantarum was more resistant than P. acidilactici to the toxic effect of the herbs. Organisms from cultures exhibiting delayed fermentation in the presence of sublethal concentrations of an herb, when subcultured into fresh media containing identical herb concentrations, initiated fermentation without delay, indicating development of resistance to the herb's effect. Moreover, bacteria which had acquired a resistance to one herb were also resistant to the other three herbs.

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