The antimicrobial effects of the wood-associated polyphenolic compounds pinosylvin, pinosylvin monomethyl ether, astringin, piceatannol, isorhapontin, isorhapontigenin, cycloXMe, dHIMP, ArX, and ArXOH were assessed against both Gram-negative (Salmonella) and Gram-positive bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus) and yeasts (Candida tropicalis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Particularly the stilbenes pinosylvin, its monomethyl ether and piceatannol demonstrated a clear antimicrobial activity, which in the case of pinosylvin was present also in food matrices like sauerkraut, gravlax and berry jam, but not in milk. The destabilization of the outer membrane of Gram-negative microorganisms, as well as interactions with the cell membrane, as indicated by the NPN uptake and LIVE/DEAD viability staining experiments, can be one of the specific mechanisms behind the antibacterial action. L. monocytogenes was particularly sensitive to pinosylvin, and this effect was also seen in L. monocytogenes internalized in intestinal Caco2 cells at non-cytotoxic pinosylvin concentrations. In general, the antimicrobial effects of pinosylvin were even more prominent than those of a related stilbene, resveratrol, well known for its various bioactivities. According to our results, pinosylvin could have potential as a natural disinfectant or biocide in some targeted applications.
- Wood associated phenolic compounds
- Listeria monocytogenes
- Food spoilage