Published on 02/05/2012
Scientists have found that a compound in garlic is 100 times more effective at fighting a common type of bacteria that causes food poisoning than two types of leading antibiotics.
There were 18 outbreaks of Campylobacter poisoning reported to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) last year, causing 443 people to fall ill.
Campylobacter is a bacteria commonly found on the surface of poultry and inside the flesh. Most infections stem from eating raw or undercooked poultry or foods that have been cross-contaminated via surfaces or utensils used to prepare poultry.
The bacteria also are responsible for triggering nearly one-third of the cases of a rare paralysing disorder known as Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Now, researchers at Washington State University in the US have found that a compound derived from garlic, called diallyl sulphide, is particularly effective at penetrating the colonies of Campylobacter.
Writing in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, the scientists say that the compound was 100 times more effective in a laboratory setting than the antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin, and would often work in "a fraction of the time".
Experts say that the discovery opens the door to new treatments for raw and processed meats and food preparation surfaces.
Barbara Rasco, associate professor of food science, said: "Diallyl sulphide could make many foods safer to eat. It can be used to clean food preparation surfaces and as a preservative in packaged foods like potato and pasta salads, coleslaw and deli meats."
But the authors say that while eating garlic is a healthy thing to do, they could not be sure it would help prevent Campylobacter related food poisoning.
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© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: Health