Effect of berry phenolics on gastrointestinal microbes

Riitta Puupponen-Pimiä, Liisa Nohynek, M. Kähkönen, Marina Heinonen, Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


    Abstract In this work antimicrobial activity of eight Finnish berries and their phenolic extracts were measured against selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative human pathogens. The results showed that berry compounds selectively inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacterial species, specially Salmonella and Staphylococcus strains, and cloudberry and raspberry were the best inhibitors. In general, berry compounds did not affect the growth of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain and of Listeria strains. The only exception was cranberry, which inhibited the growth of Listeria bacteria. Introduction Berries are good sources of plant phenolics which besides their other health-inducing effects have been found to possess antimicrobial activities. Our previous studies showed that phenolic berry extracts especially inhibited the growth of Gram-negative but not Gram-positive bacteria such as Lactobacillus. Especially cloudberry, raspberry and strawberry extracts proved to be strong inhibitors of the avirulent Salmonella (I ). Materials and methods Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus), raspberry (Rubus idaeus, var. Ottawa), cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), strawberry (Fragaria ananassa Seaga Sengana), blackcurrant (Rites nigrum, var. Ojeby) and sea buckthorn berry (Hippophae rhamnoides), were used in the study. For antimicrobial studies berries were freeze-dried and ground to fine powder. Phenolics were extracted from the berries by aqueous 70% acetone (2). Antimicrobial activity of freeze-dried grounded berries (2 or 10 mg/ml) and phenolic berry extracts (1 or 5 mg/ml) was analysed by determining the bacterial growth curves in liquid cultures (I). The bacterial strains used were Listeria monocytogenes VTT E-991205, L. innocua VTT E-981011, Salmonella enterica ser. Typhimurium VTT E-981151, S. enterica ser. Infantis VTT E-97738, Staphylococcus aureus VTT E-70045 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus VTT E-96666 (ATCC 53103). Results discussion Salmonella strains were inhibited by all the berries. Cloudberry, raspberry, strawberry and bilberry extracts inhibited the growth during the first 12 h incubation. However, during the next 12 h the number of viable cells started to increase. Cloudberry extract was the best inhibitor showing strong antimicrobial effects. Slaphylococcus strains were strongly inhibited by all the berries and berry extracts. The number of viable cells did not increase at the end of cultivation. The tested Listeria or Lactobacillus strains were not sensitive to berries or berry extracts, with the exception of cranberry, which showed inhibitory effects against Listeria bacteria (Figure 1). The results showed that antimicrobial properties of the berry compounds aren't restricted to the avirulent Salmonella but inhibited also the virulent strains. The inhibition of the Staphylococcus aureus suggessted that also the structure of Gram-positive bacteria is sensitive to the antimicrobial compounds of the berries. Bioactive berry compounds seem to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria with several mechanisms. The difference in the antimicrobial properties of the berries and the berry extracts also suggested that other bioactive compounds are involved in the cell growth inhibition. In the future, the most interesting berry extracts will be fractionated with the aim of identifying the antimicrobially active components. In addition the mechanism of action against gastrointestinal bacteria, especially intestinal pathogens, will be extensively studied. The results will be utilised in functional food development and in pharmaceutical applications. 
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPolyphenols Communications 2004
    EditorsAntti Hoikkala, Otto Soidinsalo
    Place of PublicationHelsinki
    PublisherUniversity of Helsinki
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    EventPolyphenols Communications 2004: XXII International Conference on Polyphenols - Helsinki, Finland
    Duration: 25 Aug 200428 Aug 2004


    ConferencePolyphenols Communications 2004


    Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of berry phenolics on gastrointestinal microbes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this