Abstract: Proanthocyanidins were extracted from peanut skins and investigated for their antimicrobial activity against Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Zygosaccharomyces bailii, and Zygosaccharomyces bisporus in traditional growth media (Sabouraud Dextrose and Maltose broth) and a simulated apple juice beverage. Peanut skins extracts (PSE) were prepared through a multisolvent extraction procedure. The PSE extended the lag phase growth of the 3 yeasts studied at a concentration of 1 mg/mL and at 10 mg/mL yeast growth was totally inhibited for 120 h. PSE was fractionated by normal phase high performance liquid chromatography and the active components/fractions were determined. Compounds present in the fractions were identified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to determine the compounds responsible for inhibition. Fractions consisting mostly of A-type proanthocyanidin dimers, trimers, and tetramers showed the highest percent inhibition toward the yeasts tested in this study. Both optical density (OD) and standard enumeration plating methods were performed in this study. The OD method led to an overestimation of the inhibitory effects of PSE, the 2 methods agreed in respect to treatment effects but not the severity of the inhibition.
Practical Application: There is a growing consumer demand for “fresh like” products containing reduced amounts of chemical preservatives without compromising food safety and quality. Therefore, the goal of this study was to determine if an extract of peanut skins containing flavonoid rich compounds could function as a natural antimicrobial in a model beverage system. Proteins were removed through the process of producing the peanut skin extract, thus it is unlikely to contain peanut allergens. The antimicrobial compounds mentioned in this study were successfully integrated into a model beverage system, and were found to have antimicrobial effect. However, the incorporation of these compounds would likely lead to negative sensory attributes at the concentration needed to achieve an appreciable antimicrobial effect alone.