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Bacterial nanocellulose membranes combined with nisin: a strategy to prevent microbial growth


Consumer concerns about synthetic additives is increasing and it can be interesting to apply natural antioxidants with antimicrobial properties. Developing a packing material composed by a natural polymer, such as bacterial nanocellulose membrane (BNCm) loaded with nisin may be applied as a method to keep food quality and to inhibit growth of microbial contaminants. For this reason, the aim of this study was to evaluate antimicrobial activity of BNCm loaded with nisin. Antimicrobial activity of nisin, utilizing or not EDTA solution,was assessed by minimal inhibitory concentration and agar diffusion assay, utilizing Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Antioxidant activity and physico-chemical properties were also evaluated. For the MIC evaluation, the combination of nisin solution with EDTA showed a synergistic effect. Concerning E. coli nisin with EDTA 20–40 mM, MIC was 31.25 μg/mL. Concerning P. aeruginosa nisin with EDTA 10–20 mM, MIC was 125 μg/mL. Concerning S. aureus nisin with EDTA 10 mM, MIC was 15.63 μg/mL, two times lower than without EDTA. The BNCm antimicrobial activity for E. coli, by agar diffusion assay, was observed when nisin was loaded at 250 or 500 μg/mL with EDTA 10 or 20 mM. However, for S. aureus, the antimicrobial activity was observed for BNCm loaded with nisin 15 μg/mL with 10 mM EDTA. For P. aeruginosa, antimicrobial activity was not observed. Nisin exhibited significant antimicrobial and antioxidant activity. The results provide evidence that BNCm loaded with nisin is a promising control strategy to prevent microorganism contamination.

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Authors acknowledge Sao Paulo Research Foundation (Process Number 2016/05930-4) and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for the financial support.

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Correspondence to Angela Faustino Jozala.

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dos Santos, C.A., dos Santos, G.R., Soeiro, V.S. et al. Bacterial nanocellulose membranes combined with nisin: a strategy to prevent microbial growth. Cellulose 25, 6681–6689 (2018).

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  • Nisin
  • Bacterial nanocellulose membrane
  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Physico-chemical properties