Investigation of Damage to Escherichia Coli, Listeria Monocytogenes and Salmonella Enteritidis Exposed to Mentha Arvensis L. And M. Piperita L. Essential Oils in Pineapple and Mango Juice by Flow Cytometry

Food Microbiol. 2018 Dec;76:564-571. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2017 Sep 29.


The effects of Mentha arvensis L. (MAEO; 0.625 μL/mL) and M. piperita L. (MPEO; 1.25 μL/mL) essential oils on viable cell counts and physiological functions in Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis in pineapple and mango juice after a 15 min-exposure under refrigeration were evaluated in this study. The physiological functions of the bacterial cells were assessed by flow cytometry using the fluorochromes thiazole orange, propidium iodide, bis-1,3-dibutylbarbutiric acid, ethidium bromide, and 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride to investigate membrane integrity, membrane potential, efflux activity, and respiratory activity. MAEO and MPEO sharply reduced (>5 log10 CFU/mL cycles) the counts of E. coli, L. monocytogenes and Salmonella Enteritidis in pineapple juice, and caused smaller reductions (0.61-1.58 log10 CFU/mL cycles) in mango juice. Bacterial cells exposed to MAEO and MPEO in pineapple and mango juice showed increased membrane permeability, membrane depolarization and changes in efflux pump and respiratory activity. More physiological damage occurred in bacterial cell populations exposed to MAEO or MPEO in pineapple juice than in mango juice. These results indicate that MAEO and MPEO inactivate E. coli, L. monocytogenes and Salmonella Enteritidis cells in pineapple and mango juice through a multi-target action mode that disrupts cytoplasmic membranes, increases permeability and potential depolarization, as well as inhibits efflux pump and respiratory activity.

Keywords: Antibacterial action mode; Flow cytometry; Juice; Mentha spp.; Pathogenic bacteria.

MeSH terms

  • Ananas / chemistry
  • Ananas / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Food Contamination / analysis
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices / microbiology*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / drug effects*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / growth & development
  • Mangifera / chemistry
  • Mangifera / microbiology*
  • Mentha / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Salmonella enteritidis / drug effects*
  • Salmonella enteritidis / growth & development


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts