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Sphagnan--a pectin-like polymer isolated from Sphagnum moss can inhibit the growth of some typical food spoilage and food poisoning bacteria by lowering the pH.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19187129     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
AIMS: Investigate if the antibacterial effect of sphagnan, a pectin-like carbohydrate polymer extracted from Sphagnum moss, can be accounted for by its ability to lower the pH. METHODS AND RESULTS: Antibacterial activity of sphagnan was assessed and compared to that of three other acids. Sphagnan in its acid form was able to inhibit growth of various food poisoning and spoilage bacteria on low-buffering solid growth medium, whereas sphagnan in its sodium form at neutral pH had no antibacterial activity. At similar acidic pH, sphagnan had comparable antibacterial activity to that of hydrochloric acid and a control rhamnogalacturonan pectin in its acid form. CONCLUSIONS: Sphagnan in its acid form is a weak macromolecular acid that can inhibit bacterial growth by lowering the pH of environments with a low buffering capacity. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: It has previously been suggested that sphagnan is an antimicrobial polysaccharide in the leaves of Sphagnum moss with a broad range of potential practical applications. Our results now show that sphagnan in its acid form can indeed inhibit bacterial growth, but only of acid-sensitive species. These findings represent increased knowledge towards our understanding on how sphagnan or Sphagnum moss might be used in practical applications.
T Stalheim; S Ballance; B E Christensen; P E Granum
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of applied microbiology     Volume:  106     ISSN:  1365-2672     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Appl. Microbiol.     Publication Date:  2009 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-03-23     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9706280     Medline TA:  J Appl Microbiol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  967-76     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo, Norway.
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