Fatty Acid Esters

Certain fatty acid esters have antimicrobial activity in foods. One of the most effective of the fatty acid esters is glyceryl monolaurate (monolaurin) (29,30). Monolaurin is effective as an antimicrobial against Gram-positive bac teria including Bacillus, Listeria monocytogenes, Micrococcus, and Staphylococcus aureus but generally ineffective against Gram-negative bacteria (31-33). Presence of eth-ylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) expands the activity spectrum of monolaurin to include Gram-negative bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, and Vibrio and decreases the minimum inhibitory concentrations against Gram-positive strains (29,34). Monolaurin is inhibitory to molds and yeasts including Aspergillus, Alternaria, Candida, Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Saccharomyces. Monolaurin is effective against L. monocytogenes in cottage cheese, Camembert cheese, yogurt, and meat products (32,33).

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