Food & Feed Research


Volume 45, Issue 1
antimicrobial packaging, antimicrobial activity, surface contamination, bioactive com-pounds, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus
TOOLS Creative Commons License
Aleksandra R. Novaković*, Tanja I. Radusin, Alena M. Tomšik, Predrag M. Ikonić
University of Novi Sad, Institute of Food Technology, 21000 Novi Sad, Bulevar cara Lazara 1, Serbia


Antimicrobial packaging as active food packaging represents a suitable packaging form for food in products in particular for foods where microbial contamination occurs primarily at the surface. Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) is one of the most frequently used bio-polymers because of its similarities to conventional polymeric materials used in food packaging, however its use is still limited to short-term packaging applications. This research has been focused on preparation of PLA packaging films modified with bioactive compounds from Achillea millefolium (AM) plant extract as possible active packaging solution. Addition of specific natural compounds could give improvements in mechanical, thermal or barrier properties, as well as the antimicrobial effect with significant impact on prolonging the food shelf-life and its quality and safety.
Accordingly, the aim of this study was to determine chemical and antimicrobial properties of crude AM ethanolic extract and PLA composite films loaded with two concentrations of AM extract expressed in weight percent (2 wt. % and 5 wt. %). The AM ethanolic extract showed very good antimicrobial activity against E. coli and S. aureus, while PLA films loaded with 5% AM extract showed significant reduction of initial S. aureus after 24 h contact time compared to neat PLA films (up to 90%). PLA films with 2% and 5% AM content did not show any antimicrobial activity against E. coli. Furthermore, the chemical composition of the ethanolic extract was determined considering its phenolic composition. These results indicated promising potential of incorporation of A. millefolium extract in PLA as an antimicrobial agent for food packaging applications.

Download full article PDF


  1. Atarés, L., Chiralt, A. (2016). Essential oils as additives in biodegradable films and coatings for active food packaging. Trends in Food Science and Technology48, 51-62.
  2. Ayaz, F.A., Hayırlıoglu-Ayaz, S., Alpay-Karaoglu, S., Grúz, J., Valentová, K., Ulrichová, J., Strnad, M. (2008). Phenolic acid contents of kale (Brassica oleraceae L. var. acephala DC.) extracts and their antioxidant and antibacterial activities. Food Chemistry107 (1), 19-25.
  3. Bais, H.P., Walker, T.S., Schweizer, H.P. and Vivanco, J.M. (2002). Root specific elicitation and antimicrobial activity of rosmarinic acid in hairy root cultures of Ocimum basilicum. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry40 (11), 983-995.
  4. Bowles, B.L., Miller, A.J. (1994). Caffeic acid activity against Clostridium botulinum spores. Journal of Food Science59 (4), 905-908.
  5. Carocho, M., Morales, P., Ferreira, I.C. (2015). Natural food additives: Quo vadis? Trends in Food Science and Technology45 (2), 284-295.
  6. Duffy, C.F., Power, R.F. (2001). Antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of some Chinese plant extracts. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents17 (6), 527-529.
  7. Gao, Y., van Belkum, M.J., Stiles, M.E. (1999). The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria inhibits antibacterial activity of brochocin-C. Applied and Environmental Microbiology65 (10), 4329-4333.
  8. Han, C., Wang, J., Li, Y., Lu, F., Cui, Y. (2014). Antimicrobial-coated polypropylene films with polyvinyl alcohol in packaging of fresh beef. Meat Science96 (2), 901-907.
  9. Heleno, S.A., Ferreira, I.C., Esteves, A.P., Ćirić, A., Glamočlija, J., Martins, A., Soković, M., Queiroz, M.J.R. (2013). Antimicrobial and demelanizing activity of Ganoderma lucidum extract, p-hydroxybenzoic and cinnamic acids and their synthetic acetylated glucuronide methyl esters. Food and Chemical Toxicology58, 95-100.
  10. JISZ 2801:2000 (2000). Antimicrobial products- Tests for antimicrobial activity. Japanese Industrial Standards Committee, Tokyo, Japan (
  11. Kashiri, M., Cerisuelo, J.P., Domínguez, I., López-Carballo, G., Muriel-Gallet, V., Gavara, R., Hernández-Muñoz, P. (2017). Zein films and coatings as carriers and release systems of Zataria multiflora Boiss. essential oil for anti-microbial food packaging. Food Hydrocolloids, 70, 260-268.
  12. Lopez, P., Sanchez, C., Batlle, R., Nerin, C. (2005). Solid and vapour-phase antimicrobial activities of six essential oils: susceptibility of selected foodborne bacterial and fungal strains. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 53 (17), 6939-6946.
  13. Mišan, A., Mimica-Dukić, N., Mandić, A., Sakač, M., Milovanović, I., Sedej, I. (2011). Development of a rapid resolution HPLC method for the separation and determination of 17 phenolic compounds in crude plant extracts. Open Chemistry, 9 (1), 133-142.
  14. Muthuswamy, S., Rupasinghe, H.V. (2007). Fruit phenolics as natural antimicrobial agents: Selective antimicrobial activity of catechin, chlorogenic acid and phloridzin. Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment, 5 (3/4), 81.
  15. Nikaido, H. (1996). Multidrug efflux pumps of gram-negative bacteria. Journal of Bacteriology, 178 (20), 5853.
  16. Nikaido, H. (1994). Prevention of drug access to bacterial targets: permeability barriers and active efflux. Science, 264 (5157), 382-388.
  17. Rahman, M.A.A., Moon, S.S. (2007). Antimicrobial phenolic derivatives from Dendranthema zawadskii var. latilobum kitamura (Asteraceae). Archives of Pharmacal Research, 30 (11), 1374-1379.
  18. Ribeiro-Santos, R., Andrade, M., de Melo, N.R., Sanches-Silva, A. (2017). Use of essential oils in active food packaging: Recent advances and future trends. Trends in Food Science and Technology, 61, 132-140.
  19. Shan, B., Cai, Y.Z., Brooks, J.D., Corke, H. (2007). Antibacterial properties and major bioactive components of cinnamon stick (Cinnamomum burmannii): activity against foodborne pathogenic bacteria. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55 (14), 5484-5490.
  20. Smith-Palmer, A., Stewart, J., Fyfe, L. (1998). Antimicrobial properties of plant essential oils and essences against five important food-borne pathogens. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 26 (2), 118-122.
  21. Sung, S.Y., Sin, L.T., Tee, T.T., Bee, S.T., Rahmat, A.R., Rahman, W.A. W.A., Tan, A.C. Vikhraman, M. (2013). Antimicrobial agents for food packaging applications. Trends in Food Science and Technology, 33 (2), 110-123.
  22. Cowan, M.M. (1999). Plant products as antimicrobial agents. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 12 (4), 564-582.
  23. Rios, J.L., Recio, M.C. (2005). Medicinal plants and antimicrobial activity. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 100 (1-2), 80-84.
  24. Unal, E.L., Mavi, A., Kara, A.A., Cakir, A., Şengül, M., Yildirim, A. (2008). Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of some plants used as remedies in Turkish traditional medicine. Pharmaceutical Biology, 46 (3), 207-224.