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The Effects of Sodium Chloride on the Physiological Characteristics of Listeria monocytogenes
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 Title & Authors
The Effects of Sodium Chloride on the Physiological Characteristics of Listeria monocytogenes
Choi, Kyoung-Hee; Yoon, Yohan;
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Sodium chloride is used to improve various properties of processed meat products, e.g., taste, preservation, water binding capacity, texture, meat batter viscosity, safety, and flavor; however, many studies have shown that sodium chloride increases the resistance of many foodborne pathogens to heat and acid. Listeria monocytogenes has been isolated from various readyto- eat (RTE) meat and dairy products formulated with sodium chloride; therefore, the objective of this paper was to review the effects of sodium chloride on the physiological characteristics of L. monocytogenes. The exposure of L. monocytogenes to sodium chloride may increase biofilm formation on foods or food contact surfaces, virulence gene transcription, invasion of Caco-2 cells, and bacteriocin production, depending on L. monocytogenes strain and serotype as well as sodium chloride concentration. When L. monocytogenes cells were exposed to sodium chloride, their resistance to UV-C irradiation and freezing temperatures increased, but sodium chloride had no effect on their resistance to gamma irradiation. The morphological properties of L. monocytogenes, especially cell elongation and filament formation, also change in response to sodium chloride. These findings indicate that sodium chloride affects various physiological responses of L. monocytogenes and thus, the effect of sodium chloride on L. monocytogenes in RTE meat and dairy products needs to be considered with respect to food safety. Moreover, further studies of microbial risk assessment should be conducted to suggest an appropriate sodium chloride concentration in animal origin foods.
sodium chloride;L. monocytogenes;biofilm;stress response;resistance;
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