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Exploring the potential of rhamnolipid on controlling food pathogens: effect of ionic strength and biopolymers

Grant number: 19/14405-9
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: September 01, 2019 - August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology
Principal Investigator:Marcia Nitschke
Grantee:Marcia Nitschke
Home Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The use of natural and environmental-friendly antimicrobials represent a trend in the food industry. The rhamnolipids, microbial-derived surfactants, have shown potential as agents to control the growth of food pathogens additionally; they have gained the status of ´green surfactants'. Chitosan is a biopolymer of recognized antimicrobial activity, which is soluble under acidic conditions. A recent study of our research group demonstrated that the rhamnolipids are more effective in the control of Gram-positive pathogens when in acidic conditions; thus, the combination of rhamnolipids and chitosan could be advantageous since many foods have pH in the acid range. In addition to pH, we observed that the combination of RL with salts, such as sodium chloride, increases antimicrobial action however, the mechanism involved in such interaction has not been studied. This project aims to evaluate the antimicrobial potential of nanoparticles formulated by combining RL and Chitosan against planktonic and biofilms of food pathogenic bacteria. At the same time, we intend to study the interaction RL-salt and its relationship with antimicrobial activity. (AU)