The use of high-intensity pulsed-electric field (HIPEF) and antimicrobial substances of natural origin, such as enterocin AS-48 (AS-48), nisin, and lysozyme, are among the most important nonthermal preservation methods. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the combined effect on milk inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus of the addition of AS-48 with nisin or lysozyme, or both, together with the use of HIPEF. Synergy was observed in the reduction of Staph. aureus counts with the following combination methods: i) addition of AS-48 and nisin, ii) addition of AS-48 plus use of HIPEF, and iii) addition of AS-48 and nisin plus use of HIPEF. Specifically, when 28 arbitrary units/mL of AS-48 and 20 IU/mL of nisin were added to the milk, and it was treated with HIPEF for 800 µs, over 6 log reductions were observed in the microorganism. In general, Staph. aureus inactivation was dependent on HIPEF treatment time, antimicrobial doses, and medium pH. During storage of the treated milk, survivor population was related to peptide concentration and temperature. Final cell viability was influenced by the sequence in which the treatments were applied: the addition of AS-48 or AS-48 and nisin was more effective before than after HIPEF treatment. The results obtained indicate that the combination of HIPEF and antimicrobials could be of great interest to the dairy industry, although it is necessary to study further the way in which the combined treatments act.

Key Words: milk • high-intensity pulsed-electric field • enterocin AS-48 • nisin

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