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Food Science and Technology
Vol. 63 (2), 2015, Pages: 859–865

Characterization of antimicrobial efficacy of soy isoflavones against pathogenic biofilms

Rekha Priyadarshini Albert Dhayakaran, Suresh Neethirajan, Jun Xue, John Shi

Bionano Laboratory, School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, N1G 2W1, Canada.


Pathogenic biofilms that form on food processing equipment/surfaces are of great concern, because these can readily lead to food spoilage, bio-fouling, food-borne illness, and their recalcitrance can result in the acquisition of multi-drug resistance. Currently available coatings do not completely inhibit microbial growth and an increased demand for such coatings means that new products will need to be developed. The unique properties of antimicrobial soy isoflavones, including their biodegradability, biocompatibility, and lack of toxicity as edible products, make their application more appealing than artificial polymer or chemical-based coatings. In this study, we evaluated the antimicrobial efficacy of soy isoflavones against pathogenic biofilms of Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) using microtiter plate assays (MPAs), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Ultrasonication technique yielded 491 μg of isoflavones per gram of soy flour sample. MPA assays and the imaging experiments revealed that the establishment of L. monocytogenes and E. coli biofilms was inhibited by 10 μg/mL and 100 μg/mL soy isoflavones, while MRSA and P. aeruginosa were largely unaffected.

Keywords: Soy isoflavones; Antimicrobials; Food-borne biofilms; Listeria monocytogenes.

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