d-Tryptophan (d-Trp) has a significant inhibitory effect on growth of gram-negative bacteria under osmotic stress. However, the inhibitory effect of d-Trp on the gram-positive Listeria monocytogenes under chilled and thermal stresses has not been evaluated previously. The effect of d-Trp on L. monocytogenes growth under cold and/or heat stress in milk and cream was dependent on the magnitude of the temperature stress. Low temperatures (4, 7, and 10°C) and treatment with 40 mM d-Trp resulted in significant inhibition of L. monocytogenes growth during the 4-week storage period. Lower temperatures more effectively inhibited growth. When added before thermal processing, 40 mM d-Trp completely inactivated L. monocytogenes (>6-log reduction) heated at 60°C for 25 min or 65°C for 20 min. These results suggest that d-Trp can be used as a preservative for controlling the growth of L. monocytogenes in milk and cream at refrigeration temperatures and could be used to enhance the thermal inactivation of L. monocytogenes.
d-Trp significantly reduced L. monocytogenes growth under chilled stress.
L. monocytogenes was not detected under a combination of d-Trp and thermal stress.
d-Trp had a stronger growth suppression effect on L. monocytogenes in cream than in milk.