Melastoma candidum D. Don, a Taiwanese folk medicinal plant, has high levels of antibacterial and bactericidal activity. Our aim was to determine whether and to what extent an acetone extract of this plant inhibits the growth of foodborne pathogenic bacteria. M. candidum acetone extract had marked inhibitory effect on test bacteria introduced into sliced pork, which was then stored at 4°C. At the end of storage (day 12), the bacterial concentrations dropped by 1.59 to 2.91 log CFU/g compared with the control. In steamed rice stored at 30°C, a 0.2% extract decreased initial (before storage) concentrations of Bacillus cereus from 2.01 log CFU/g to an undetectable level, which remained for at least 24 h. After 72 to 168 h of storage, test bacterial concentrations were reduced by 2.59 to 5.66 log CFU/g. In fresh noodles stored at 30°C, both initial and final bacterial concentrations were decreased. At the end of storage (72 to 168 h), test bacteria concentrations were reduced by 1.85 to 2.88 log CFU/g. Overall, M. candidum acetone extract had an inhibitory effect on foodborne pathogenic bacteria in different food model systems.

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