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Tags: carob | tree | bacteria

Carob Tree Leaves Combat Bacteria

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:07 PM EDT

Food scientists have discovered a rich store of antibacterial substances in an unlikely place: The leaves of the tree used to produce carob — the substitute for chocolate that some consider healthier than the cocoa-based food.

According to a new report in American Chemical Society Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers have found carob leaves contain natural substances that are ideal for fighting the microbe responsible for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria that cause a serious form of food poisoning.

The finding, reported by Nadhem Aissani and colleagues, may open the door to developing a natural alternative to antibiotics, now used to treat the infection, and reduce the risk of drug-resistant bacteria.

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“The increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria has fostered a search for new natural substances to preserve food and control disease-causing microbes,” the researchers said in a release on their findings. They noted Listeria monocytogenes was tied to food poisoning outbreaks in a dozen states with three deaths so far this year.

Carob — a substitute for chocolate that does not contain caffeine or theobromine — has long been known to contain antibacterial substances, but had never been tested it against Listeria until know.

For the new study, researchers found extracts of carob leaves blocked the growth of Listeria bacteria growing in laboratory cultures. They will now conduct additional tests of carob extracts on Listeria growing in meat and fish samples.

© HealthDay

The leaves of the tree used to produce carob contain a rich store of antibacterial substances, scientists find.
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 12:07 PM
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