Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research (ISSN : 0975-7384)

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Original Articles: 2011 Vol: 3 Issue: 1

Evaluation of five chemical food preservatives for their antibacterial activity against bacterial isolates from bakery products and mango pickles


Outbreaks of food-borne pathogens (mainly bacteria) continue to draw public attention to food safety. Several reports have demonstrated the efficacy of using chemicals to control the growth of food spoilage and food-borne pathogens. The objective of this study was to investigate antibacterial activity of five chemical food preservatives against food associated bacteria isolated from bakery product and pickles. Acetic acid was found to be very active against Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus sphaericus, Bacillus polymyxa and three Escherichia coli isolates with inhibition zones ranging between 20mm to 22mm followed by lactic acid (14mm to 18mm), benzoic acid (3mm to 18mm). Citric acid was partially inhibitory against B. subtilis (15mm) and three isolates of Staphylococcus aureus (15mm to 16mm). Sodium acetate was only active against B. megaterium (15mm), but was inactive against other selected food-associated Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. These findings indicated that acetic acid could be used to inhibit the growth of bacterial food spoilage and food-borne pathogens and can be used to improve the safety of food products.