Effects of nisin on the antimicrobial activity of d-limonene and its nanoemulsion

Food Chem. 2014 May 1:150:307-12. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.10.160. Epub 2013 Nov 12.


d-Limonene has been considered to be a safer alternative compared to synthetic antimicrobial food additives. However, its hydrophobic and oxidative nature has limited its application in foods. The purpose of this research was to study effects of nisin on the antimicrobial activity of d-limonene and its nanoemulsion and develop a novel antimicrobial delivery system by combining the positive effect of these two antibacterial agents at the same time. By the checkerboard method, both the synergistic and additive effects of d-limonene and nisin were found against four selected food-related microorganisms. Then, d-limonene nanoemulsion with or without nisin was prepared by catastrophic phase inversion method, which has shown good droplet size and stability. The positive effects and outstanding antimicrobial activity of d-limonene nanoemulsion with nisin were confirmed by MICs comparison, scanning electron microscopy and determination of cell constituents released. Overall, the research described in the current article would be helpful in developing a more effective antimicrobial system for the production and preservation of foods.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity; Essential oils; Nanoemulsion; Nisin; d-Limonene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Cyclohexenes / pharmacology*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Emulsions / pharmacology
  • Limonene
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nisin / pharmacology*
  • Terpenes / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cyclohexenes
  • Emulsions
  • Terpenes
  • Nisin
  • Limonene