Fatty acid esters are food additives with strong antibacterial activity against spore-forming bacteria. The antibacterial activity of monoglycerol fatty acid esters (MGs) and sucrose fatty acid esters (SEs) with various fatty acid chain lengths was systematically investigated on four typical Bacillus species: B. cereus, B. subtilis, B. megaterium, and B. coagulans. Monoglycerol monolaurate (MG12) and monoglycerol monomyristate (MG14) showed relatively strong bactericidal effects on vegetative cells of these species among the MGs tested at both pH 6.0 and pH 8.0. Different SEs showed bactericidal effects on different species at pH 6.0, while the SEs had antibacterial effects only on B. coagulans at pH 8.0. SEs showed antibacterial effects on vegetative cells of these species, as was the case with MGs. In addition, it was found that MGs and SEs showed strong antibacterial effects on both B. cereus and B. subtilis in the logarithmic phase of growth, while the antibacterial activities of MGs persisted longer than those of SEs.
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