Fruit Extracts Cut Campy Counts on Chicken

MEXICO - Extracts from lime, plum and sour orange peel have potential to reduce Campylobacter from chicken products, according to D. Valtierra-Rodríguez and colleagues at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in a paper published in Journal of Food Protection.
calendar icon 5 March 2010
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The researchers say that Campylobacter spp. are a major cause of foodborne bacterial gastroenteritis in humans, and current methods to control Campylobacter contamination in foods are not completely successful. Plants are a promising source of antimicrobial agents, particularly given the growing interest in 'all natural' foods, they added.

In this study, the antimicrobial activity of extracts from 28 edible plants against Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli was evaluated in vitro and in a poultry skin model.

Nine of 28 extracts exhibited antimicrobial activity in a diffusion assay, and MBCs were determined for the three most active extracts, i.e., lime, plum, and sour orange peel (MBCs of 2 to 3 mg/ml). Mixtures of the lime, plum, and sour orange peel extracts were applied to chicken skin inoculated with 105 colony-forming units (CFU) of Campylobacter to test for synergistic or antagonist effects.

After incubation (48 hours at 4°C) with any extract mixture, no Campylobacter CFUs were detectable.

A panel of tasters determined that the mixture of lime and plum gave the best flavour to chicken wings.

These active extracts from edible fruits are simple to prepare and are alternatives to reduce or eliminate Campylobacter contamination on chicken products, concluded Valtierra-Rodríguez and co-authors.


Valtierra-Rodríguez, D., N. Heredia, S. García and E. Sánchez. 2010. Reduction of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli in poultry skin by fruit extracts. Journal of Food Protection, 73 (3): 477-482.

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