To identify synergistic combinations of different food additives, the antimicrobial effects of thymol and carvacrol against Salmonella Typhimurium were assessed alone and in combination with various other preservatives including EDTA, acetic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. Overall, growth of Salmonella Typhimurium was significantly inhibited in Mueller-Hinton broth containing thymol, carvacrol, EDTA, acetic acid, lactic acid, or citric acid at concentrations of 400 mg/liter, 400 μl/liter, 300 mg/liter, 0.2% (vol/vol), 0.2% (vol/vol), and 0.2% (wt/vol), respectively. The combination of different antimicrobials such as thymol or carvacrol with EDTA, thymol or carvacrol with acetic acid, and thymol or carvacrol with citric acid all resulted in significantly reduced populations of Salmonella Typhimurium. In samples treated with combinations, these antimicrobials had synergistic effects compared with samples treated with thymol, carvacrol, EDTA, acetic acid, or citric acid alone. However, the combined use of lactic acid with thymol or carvacrol did not produce a synergistic effect against Salmonella Typhimurium. Thus, some chelators or organic acids can be used as food preservatives in combination with thymol and carvacrol to reduce the concentrations needed to produce an adequate antimicrobial effect.

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