Inactivation of Salmonella spp. in tahini using plant essential oil extracts.

Affiliation

Department of Nutrition and Food Technology, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, 22110, Jordan. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Tahini is a popular food product in the Middle East region and is used as a major ingredient in several ready-to-eat food products. Tahini and its products have been linked to foodborne illness outbreaks and product recalls worldwide as a result of Salmonella spp. contamination. The objectives of the current study were to investigate: i) the effectiveness of 10 plant essential oil extracts on the viability of Salmonella spp. using disc diffusion ii) the antimicrobial activity of the most effective oils against Salmonella spp. in commercial or 10% w/v hydrated tahini (tahini-based product model) stored at 37, 25 and 10 °C for 28 d and iii) the effect of the addition of essential oil extracts on the sensory acceptability of tahini and hydrated tahini. Among the tested essential oils, thyme (TO) and cinnamon oil (CO) showed the highest antimicrobial activity against tested Salmonella spp. at 37 and 10 °C using a disc diffusion assay method. In tahini, the addition of 2.0% CO reduced the numbers of Salmonella spp. by 2.87, 2.64 or 2.35 log10 CFU/ml at 37, 25 or 10 °C, respectively, by 28 d. However, the antimicrobial activity of CO was more pronounced at all storage temperatures in hydrated tahini where no viable cells were detected after 3 d storage at 25 and 37 °C, or after 7 d at 10 °C. However, at 25 and 37 °C, the antimicrobial activity of CO was more evident since no viable cells were detected after 14 d when 0.5% was used. The numbers of Salmonella spp. were reduced by 3.29, 3.03 or 2.17 log10 CFU/ml at 37, 25 or 10 °C, respectively, after 28 d when 2.0% TO was added to tahini. Salmonella spp. were not detected in the hydrated tahini treated with 2.0% TO after 28 d at 37 °C or 25 °C, while at 10 °C, the numbers of Salmonella spp. were not significantly reduced after 28 d in hydrated tahini compared to the initial numbers at zero time. Therefore, the addition of TO and CO could be used to preclude the post process contamination of tahini with foodborne pathogens, yet, the addition of TO and CO to tahini reduced its consumer acceptability compared untreated tahini.

Keywords

Cinnamon oil,Essential oils,Salmonella,Tahini,Thyme oil,