Abstract: Plant extracts have been found to be effective in reducing microorganisms. This study evaluated antimicrobial activity of 12 plant extracts against Salmonella Typhimurium, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes by using a disk diffusion assay, and Syzygium aromaticum (clove) showed the highest inhibitory effect. To investigate the efficacy of clove extract that inactivates pathogens on lettuce, inoculated lettuce with S. Typhimurium, E. coli O157:H7, and L. monocytogenes was treated with diluted clove extracts or distilled water for 0, 1, 3, 5, and 10 min. Clove extract treatment significantly reduced populations of the 3 tested pathogens from the surface of lettuce.
Practical Application: This result indicated that clove extract is a useful antimicrobial agent to reduce the microbial level of foodborne pathogens on fresh lettuce. It also might be a natural antimicrobial for reducing or replacing chemical sanitizers in food preservation.