Phenolic compounds commonly occurring in fruits, vegetables and tea were studied for their effects on Listeria monocytogenes (L.m.), Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E.c.) and Salmonella Typhimurium (S.T.) in brain–heart infusion broth (BHI) and meat system. Incubated at 37C for 72 h in BHI, gentistic, benzoic and vanillic acids inhibited L.m., E.c and S.T. at 5,000 µg/mL by 2.8 to 3.0 log CFU/mL, 2.8 to 3.0 log CFU/mL and 2.7 to 2.9 log CFU/mL, respectively. Encapsulation of benzoic acid (1,100 µg/mL) in polylactic-co-glycolic acid nanoparticles inhibited 6.5 log CFU/mL of L.m. and S.T., and 6.0 log CFU/mL of E.c. at 48 h. In raw and cooked chicken meat systems, nanoparticle delivery of benzoic acid was effective against S.T. and L.m. (1.0 and 1.6 log CFU/g reduction of S.T. and 1.1 and 3.2 log CFU/g reduction of L.m. compared with 1.2 log CFU/g without nanoparticles on the days 9 and 14 of storage, respectively). These findings demonstrate the efficacy of phenolics on pathogen reduction delivered by nanoparticles and their potential for commercial food safety applications.


Nanotechnology is an emerging and promising technology that has been advocated for the delivery of antimicrobial phenolic compound extracts to effectively inhibit foodborne pathogens. The method improves the rate of inhibition compared with conventional delivery and retains the antimicrobial efficacy for a longer time. This hurdle technology using natural antimicrobials (phenolic compounds) and nanoparticle-mediated delivery system can effectively decontaminate foodborne pathogens and improve food safety. Phenolic compounds can be used as natural and safer alternatives to chemical disinfectants in food systems and delivered using nanoparticles to better control pathogens for commercial food safety applications.