Synthesis and characterization of novel antimicrobial emulsifiers from ε-Polylysine

Hailong Yu, Yuping Huang, Qingrong Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


ε-Polylysine (EPL) has been used in the food industry as an antimicrobial additive and also a dietary agent. To generate amphiphilic molecules from EPL, hydrophobically modified e-polylysine graft copolymers, which were denoted as OSA-g-EPLs, were synthesized by reacting EPL with octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA). The success of synthesis was confirmed by 1H NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy. It was found that OSA-g-EPLs had glass transition temperatures lower than EPL. Furthermore, they were able to form polymer micelles in water and to lower the surface tension of water, confirming their amphiphilic properties. The antimicrobial activities of OSA-g-EPLs were also examined, and the minimum inhibitory concentrations of OSA-g-EPLs against Escherichia coli 0157:H7 remained the same as that of EPL. Therefore, OSA-g-EPLs have the potential of becoming afunctional molecules, which can be used either as surfactants or emulsifiers in the encapsulation of nutraceuticals or drugs or as antimicrobial agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1290-1295
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 27 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


  • Amphiphile
  • Antimicrobial agent
  • E. Coll o157:h7
  • Octenyl succinic anhydride
  • Polymer micelles
  • ε-Polylysine


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