Microbial photoinactivation using ultraviolet (UV) or visible light can be enhanced by photosensitizers. This study assessed the efficacy of encapsulating a food-grade photosensitizer (curcumin) in surfactant micelles on its water dispersibility, chemical stability, and antimicrobial activity. Stock curcumin-surfactant solutions were prepared with Surfynol 465 (S465) or Tween 80 (T80) (5 mM sodium citrate buffer). The antimicrobial activity of curcumin-loaded surfactant solutions was determined by monitoring the inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria innocua after 5-min irradiation with UV-A light (λ = 365 nm). The solutions mixed with the bacterial suspensions contained 1 µM curcumin and each surfactant below, near, and above their critical micelle concentrations (CMCs). The addition of surfactants at any level to the curcumin solution enhanced its dispersibility, stability, and efficacy as a photosensitizer, thereby enhancing its antimicrobial activity. Gram-positive bacteria were more susceptible than Gram-negative bacteria when curcumin-loaded micelles were used against them. The photoinactivation efficacy...

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