Antifungal activity of alkanols: inhibition of growth of spoilage yeasts
A series of aliphatic primary alkanols from C(6) to C(13) were tested for antifungal activity against a food spoilage fungus Zygosaccharomyces bailii using a broth dilution method and were compared for their effects against Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Z. rouxii. Decanol (C(10)) was found to be the most potent fungicide against Z. bailii at a minimum fungicidal concentration of 50 microg/ml (0.31 mM), whereas undecanol (C(11)) was found to be the most potent fungistatic at a minimum inhibitory concentration of 25 microg/ml (0.14 mM). The time-kill curve study showed that decanol was fungicidal against Z. bailii at any growth stage. Octanol (C(8)) increased plasma membrane fluidity in the spheroplast cells of S. cerevisiae. The primary antifungal action of alkanols comes from their ability to disrupt the native membrane-associated function of integral proteins nonspecifically as nonionic surface-active agents (surfactants). The antifungal activity of decanol against Z. bailii was slightly enhanced in combination with anethole.