A newly published research study from the USA has shown that extracts from pecan shells show a strong antimicrobial effect against Listeria and could even be used to control pathogenic bacteria in meat processing operations.
The researchers used a solvent-free process to produce antimicrobial extracts from roasted and unroasted organic pecan shells. The extracts were then tested against cultures of Listeria spp. and Listeria monocytogenes to determine the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC). The extracts were found to inhibit Listeria isolates at MICs as low as 0.38%.
Further tests using a poultry skin model showed that the pecan shell extracts could produce a 2 log reduction in an inoculated cocktail of Listeria strains and a 4 log reduction of the naturally-occurring spoilage bacteria on chicken skin.
The researchers suggest that pecan shell extracts could be used as alternative natural antimicrobial treatments for the organic meat processing industry. The study is published in the Journal of Food Science and an extract can be found here.