Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of Propionic Acid, Sorbic Acid, and Benzoic Acid against Food Spoilage Microorganisms in Animal Products to Use MIC as Threshold for Natural Preservative Production

Yeongeun Seo2, Miseon Sung1, Jeongeun Hwang1, Yohan Yoon1,2,*
Author Information & Copyright
1Department of Food and Nutrition, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul 04310, Korea.
2Risk Analysis Research Center, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul 04310, Korea.
*Corresponding Author: Yohan Yoon. E-mail:

© Copyright 2022 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Oct 18, 2022 ; Revised: Dec 26, 2022 ; Accepted: Dec 27, 2022

Published Online: Dec 27, 2022


Some preservatives are naturally contained in raw food materials, while in some cases may have been introduced in food by careless handling or fermentation. However, it is difficult to distinguish between intentionally added preservatives and the preservatives naturally produced in food. The objective of this study was to evaluate the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of propionic acid, sorbic acid, and benzoic acid for inhibiting food spoilage microorganisms in animal products, which can be useful in determining if the preservatives are natural or not. The broth microdilution method was used to determine the MICs of preservatives for 57 microorganisms. Five bacteria that were the most sensitive to propionic acid, benzoic acid, and sorbic acid were inoculated in unprocessed and processed animal products. A hundred microliters of the preservatives were then spiked in samples. After storage, the cells were counted to determine the MICs of the preservatives. The MICs of the preservatives in animal products ranged from 100 to 1,500 ppm for propionic acid. From 100 to >1,500 ppm for benzoic acid, and from 100 to >1,200 ppm for sorbic acid. Thus, if the concentrations of preservatives are below MIC, the may not have been added intentionally. Therefore, the MIC result will be useful in determining intentionally added preservatives in food.

Keywords: natural production preservatives; minimum inhibitory concentration; animal products

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