Factors affecting antibacterial activity of hop compounds and their derivatives.


Simpson WJ, Smith AR




J Appl Bacteriol


The antibacterial effect of weak acids derived from the hop plant (Humulus lupulus L.) increased with decreasing pH. Analysis of the minimum inhibitory concentration of such compounds against Lactobacillus brevis IFO 3960 over pH 4-7 suggests that undissociated molecules were mainly responsible for inhibition of bacterial growth. The antibacterial activity of trans-isohumulone was ca 20 times greater than that of humulone, 11 times greater than that of colupulone and nine times greater than that of trans-humulinic acid when the degree of ionization was taken into account. Monovalent cations (K+, Na+, NH4+, Rb+, Li+) stimulated antibacterial activity of trans-isohumulone but the effect was smaller than that observed with H+. The response to divalent cations varied: Ca2+ had little effect on antibacterial activity, whereas Mg2+ reduced activity. Lipid materials and beta-cyclodextrin also antagonized the antibacterial action of trans-isohumulone.