The aim of this study was to determine the antimicrobial activity of organic acid (OA) and essential oil (EO) vapors against Listeria monocytogenes on a laboratory medium and enoki mushrooms. Among 14 OA and 8 EO vapors tested, 3 OA vapors (acetic, formic, and propionic acid) and 3 EO vapors (cinnamon bark, citronella, and lemongrass) showed relatively strong antilisterial activity. On tryptic soy agar (TSA), all three OA vapors had a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 12.5 mg/L, while the minimum lethal concentration (MLC) of formic acid vapor was the lowest, at 50 mg/L, followed by acetic acid vapor (200 mg/L) and propionic acid vapor (400 mg/L). The MIC values of lemongrass, cinnamon bark, and citronella EO vapors were 25, 100, and 100 mg/L, respectively. The MLC of lemongrass EO vapor was 100 mg/L and MLCs of other EO vapors were >400 mg/L. Formic acid and lemongrass EO vapors showed a partial synergism on TSA (fractional inhibitory concentration index of 0.7500). For L. monocytogenes inoculated on enoki mushrooms, formic acid vapor at a concentration of ≥50 mg/L, as well as formic acid and lemongrass vapors in combination (1:2 vol ratio) at ≥ 75 mg/L, inactivated L. monocytogenes. These results indicate that formic acid vapor is effective at controlling the growth of L. monocytogenes on enoki mushrooms.

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