Evaluation of antibacterial effect of magnesium oxide nanoparticles with nisin and heat in milk

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of Biology, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran



Objective(s): The objective of this study was to investigate the antibacterial activities of magnesium oxide nanoparticles (MgO NP) alone or in combination with other antimicrobials (nisin and heat) against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus in milk.
Materials and Methods: First, the combined effect of nisin and MgO nanoparticles was investigated in milk. Then the combined effect of nisin, heat and MgO nanoparticles was assessed in milk. Also the scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize the morphological changes of S. aureus before and after antimicrobial treatments.
Results: The results showed that MgO NP have strong bactericidal activity against the pathogens. A synergistic effect of MgO in combination with nisin and heat was observed as well. Scanning electron microscopy was revealed that MgO NP treatments in combination with nisin distort and damage the cell membrane, resulting in a leakage of intracellular contents and eventually the death of bacterial cells.
Conclusion: These results suggested that MgO NP alone or in combination with nisin could potentially be used as an effective antibacterial agent to enhance food safety.


[1]  Morris JG. How safe is our food.  Emerg Infect Dis. 2011; 17(1): 126–128

[2]  Okouchi S, Murata R, Sugita H, Moriyoshi Y, Maeda N. Calorimetric evaluation of the antimicrobial activities of calcined dolomite. J Antibact Antifungal Agents. 1995; 26(3): 109–14.

[3]  Wilczynski M. Antimicrobial porcelain enamels. Ceram Eng Sci Proc. 2000; 21(5): 81–3.

[4]  Wang YL, Wan YZ, Dong H, Cheng GX, Tao HM, Wen TY. Preparation and characterization of antibacterial viscose-based activated carbon fibre supporting silver. Carbon. 1998; 36(11): 1567–1571.

[5]  Hewitt CJ, Bellara ST, Andreani A, Nebe-von-Caron G, Mcfarlane CM. An evaluation of the antibacterial action of ceramic powder slurries using multiparameter flow cytometry. Biotechnol Lett. 2001; 23(9): 667–675.

[6]  Fu G, Vary PS, Lin CT. Anatase TiO2 nanocomposites for antimicrobial coating. J Phys Chem B. 2005; 109(18): 8889–8898.

[7]  Makhluf S, Dror R, Nitzan Y, Abramovich Y, Jelinek R, Gedanken A. Microwave-assisted synthesis of nano- crystalline MgO and its use as bacteriocide. Adv Funct Mater. 2005; 15(10): 1708–1715.

[8]  Roselli M, Finamore A, Garaguso I, Britti MS, Mengheri E. Zinc oxide protects cultured enterocytes from the damage induced by Escherichia coli. J Nutr.  2003; 133(12): 4077- 4082.

[9]  Stoimenov PK, Klinger RL, Marchin GL, Klabunde KJ. Metal oxide nanoparticles as bactericidal agents. Langmuir. 2002; 18(17): 6679-6686.

[10] Shi LE, Xing L, Hou B, Ge H, Guo X, Tang Z. Inorganic nano mental oxides used as anti-microorganism agents for pathogen control. In: Méndez-Vilas A, editor. Current Research, Technology and Education Topics in Applied Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology. Badajoz: Formatex; 2010. p. 361-368.

[11] Tang ZX, Fang XJ, Zhang ZL, Zhou T, Zhang XY, Shi LE. Nano MgO as antibacterial agent: Preparation and characteristics. Braz J Chem Eng. 2012; 29(4): 775-781.

[12] Al-Gaashani R, Radiman S, Al-Douri Y, Tabet N, Daud AR.  Investigation of the optical properties of Mg(OH)2 and MgO nanostructures obtained by microwave-assisted methods. J Alloy Compd. 2012; 521(4): 71-76.

[13] Ouraipryvan P, Sreethawong T, Chavadej S. Synthesis crystalline MgO nanoparticle with mesporous- assembled structure via a surfactant-modified sol-gel process. Mater Lett. 2009; 63(21): 1862-1865.

[14] Mirzaei H,  Davoodnia A. Microwave assisted sol-gel synthesis of MgO nanoparticles and their catalytic activity in the synthesis of hantzsch 1, 4- dihydropyridines. Chinese J Catal. 2012; 33(9): 1502-1507.

[15] Bertinetti L, Drouet C, Combes C, Rey C, Tampieri A, Coluccia S, et al. Surface characteristics of nanocrystalline apatites: Effect of MgO surface enrichment on morphology, surface hydration species, and cationic environments. Langmuir. 2012; 25(10): 5647-5654.

[16] Boubeta CM, Bacells L, Cristofol R, Sanfeliu C, Rodriguez E, Weissleder R, et al. Self-assembled multifunctional Fe/MgO nanospheres for magnetic resonance imaging and hyperthermia. Nanomedicine. 2010; 6(2): 362-370.

[17] Di DR, He ZZ, Sun ZQ, Liu J. A new nano-cryosurgical modality for tumor treatment using biodegradable MgO nanoparticles. Nanomedicine. 2012; 8(8): 1233-1241.

[18] Jin T, He YP. Antibacterial activities of magnesium oxide (MgO) nanoparticles against foodborne pathogens. J Nanopart Res. 2011; 13(12): 6877-6885.

[19] Tang ZX, Lv BF. MgO nanoparticles as antibacterial agent: preparation and activity. Braz J Chem Eng. 2014; 31(3): 591–601.

[20] Schillinger U, Chung HS, Keppler K, Holzapfel WH. Use of bacteriocinogenic lactic acid bacteria to inhibit spontaneous nisin-resistant mutants of Listeria monocytogenes Scott A. J Appl Microbiol. 1998; 85(4): 657–663.

[21] Premanathan M, Karthikeyan K, Jeyasubramanian K, Manivannan G. Selective toxicity of ZnO nanoparticles toward Gram-positive bacteria and cancer cells by apoptosis through lipid peroxidation. Nanomed Nanotech Biol Med. 2011; 7(2): 184-92.

[22] Brayner R, Ferrari-Iliou R, Brivois N, Djediat S, Benedetti MF, Fiévet . Toxicological impact studies based on Escherichia coli bacteria in ultrafine ZnO nanoparticles colloidal medium. Nano Letters. 2006; 6(4): 866-70.

[23] Cowan ST, Steel KJ, Barrow G, Feltham R. Cowan and Steel’s manual for the identification of medical bacteria. 3rd ed. Cambridge university press; 2004.

[24] Mirhosseini M, Arjmand V. Reducing pathogens by using zinc oxide nanoparticles and acetic acid in sheep meat. J Food Protect. 2014; 77(9):1599-1604.

[25] Chaudhry Q, Scotter M, Blackburn J, Ross B, Boxall A, Castle L, et al.  Applications and implications of nanotechnologies for the food sector. Food Addit Contam.  2008; 25(3):241-258.

[26] The Nanotechnology Consumer Inventory. [Internet]. Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars. 2009. Available from: www.nanotechproject.org/inventories/consumer/(Accessed February 26, 2010).

[27] Sustech GMBH and Co. 2003. Patent Application EP20030748025, Sweet containing calcium, Germany; Sustech GMBH Co. 2004. International Patent Application PCT/EP2003/010213 Coated chewing gum, Germany.

[28] FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on the application of nanotechnologyies in the Food and Agriculture Sectors: Potential Food Safety Implication. Meeting Report. [Internet]. 2010. Available from: www.worldvet.org/node/5688; http://www.fao.org/ag/agn/agns/.

[29] Delivering Bioactive Compound via Nanotechnology. [Internet]. 2009.  Available from:  http://live.ift.org/2009/06/06/delivering-bioactive-compound-via-nanotechnology/(Posted on Jun 7, 2009)(Accessed February 26, 2010). [30] Hilty FM1, Teleki A, Krumeich F, Büchel R, Hurrell RF, Pratsinis SE, Zimmermann MB. Development and optimization of iron- and zinc-containing nanostructured powders for nutritional applications. Nanotechnology.  2009; 20(47): 475101.

[31] Nanoemulsions. Centre for Biologic Nanotechnology.  [Internet]. 2010. Available from: www. vitamincity. com/umichnanobio.htm. (Accessed February 26, 2010).

[32] Mureinik R, Guy R. Magnesium as a dietary supplement. Innovation in Food Technology magazine. 2003. August; 16-17. Available from: http://www.innovationsfood.com

[33] Krishnamoorthy K, Moon JY, Hyun HB, Cho SK, Kim SJ. Mechanistic investigation on the toxicity of MgO nanoparticles toward cancer cells. J Mater Chem. 2012; 22(47): 24610-24617.