Potential of nisin-incorporated sodium caseinate films to control Listeria in artificially contaminated cheese
A sodium caseinate film containing nisin (1000 IU/cm2) was produced and used to control Listeria innocua in an artificially contaminated cheese. Mini red Babybel® cheese was chosen as a model semi-soft cheese. L. innocua was both surface- and in-depth inoculated to investigate the effectiveness of the antimicrobial film as a function of the distance from the surface in contact with the film. The presence of the active film resulted in a 1.1 log CFU/g reduction in L. innocua counts in surface-inoculated cheese samples after one week of storage at 4 °C as compared to control samples. With regard to in-depth inoculated cheese samples, antimicrobial efficiency was found to be dependent on the distance from the surface in contact with the active films to the cheese matrix. The inactivation rates obtained were 1.1, 0.9 and 0.25 log CFU/g for distances from the contact surface of 1 mm, 2 mm and 3 mm, respectively. Our study demonstrates the potential application of sodium caseinate films containing nisin as a promising method to overcome problems associated with post-process contamination, thereby extending the shelf life and possibly enhancing the microbial safety of cheeses. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.