Antimicrobial lysozyme-containing starch microgel to target and inhibit amylase-producing micro-organisms

Yuan Li, S. Kadam, T. Abee, T.M. Slaghek, J.W. Timmermans, M.A. Cohen Stuart, W. Norde, J.M. Kleijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study is to determine the release of lysozyme from oxidized starch microgels and subsequently test its antimicrobial activity. The gels are made of oxidized potato starch polymers, which are chemically cross-linked by sodium trimetaphosphate (STMP). The microgel is negatively charged and interacts with positively charged lysozyme by electrostatic attraction. Application of the lysozyme-containing starch particles to environments contaminated with microbes, may lead to hydrolysis of the starch by microbial enzymes. As a result, lysozyme is released in the environment where it inhibits microbial growth. In this study, first bacteria were screened for amylase production and lysozyme sensitivity. Then, the bacteria were mixed with empty gel particles (i.e., without lysozyme) in a Nutrient Broth liquid medium to test whether the bacteria that can produce amylase are also able to degrade oxidized starch gel. Subsequently the amylase-producing lysozyme sensitive bacteria, Bacillus licheniformis 7558 and Bacillus subtilis 168, were selected for further quantification of the antimicrobial activity of the gel-lysozyme particles after incubation with these bacteria in Nutrient Broth liquid suspensions. The results prove that the starch microgel has a potential as antimicrobial carrier targeting amylase-producing and lysozyme-sensitive bacteria. The controlled antimicrobial delivery for inactivating undesired microorganisms may find applications in food related systems, where amylase-producing bacteria may be abundantly present. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
JournalFood Hydrocolloids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • listeria-monocytogenes
  • escherichia-coli
  • lactic-acid
  • bacteria
  • encapsulation
  • hydrogels
  • saline
  • nisin
  • alpha
  • water


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