Antimicrobial Effect of Filipendula ulmaria Plant Extract Against Selected Foodborne Pathogenic and Spoilage Bacteria in Laboratory Media, Fish Flesh and Fish Roe Product

Ioannis S. Boziaris1*, Charalampos Proestos2, Maria Kapsokefalou2 and Michael Komaitis2

Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment, School of Agricultural Sciences, University of Thessaly, Fitokou,
GR-38446 N.Ionia, Volos, Greece
Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, GR-11855 Athens, Greece

Article history:

Received December 17, 2009
Accepted December 15, 2010

Key words
natural antimicrobials, Filipendula ulmaria, antimicrobial activity, fish, spoilage, pathogens


Water-methanol extract from Filipendula ulmaria contains a variety of phenolic compounds, such as caffeic, p-coumaric and vanillic acid, myricetin, etc., which demonstrate antibacterial activity. Monitoring this activity in the broth using absorbance measurements showed that species of the Enterobacteriaceae family were more resistant than other Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria tested. Acidic environment enhanced the antibacterial activity of Filipendula ulmaria extract when it was tested against Salmonella Enteritidis PT4 and Listeria monocytogenes Scott A. The efficacy of Filipendula ulmaria extract against selected foodborne psychrotrophic bacteria was also tested using solid laboratory media and low incubation temperatures for better simulation of food preservation conditions. Higher concentrations of the extract, compared to minimum inhibitory concentration determined in the broth, were needed for satisfactory inhibition of spoilage bacteria. Potential use of Filipendula ulmaria extract as natural food preservative was also examined against natural spoilage flora and inoculated pathogenic bacteria on fish flesh and fish roe product (tarama salad). No significant differences of viable populations of spoilage or pathogenic bacteria were found between the treated samples and controls. Further trials of Filipendula ulmaria extract should be carried out in acidic foods with low fat and protein content, supplemented with additional adjuncts, in order to explore its potential as effective natural food antimicrobial agent.

*Corresponding author:

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