Search research reports:
S1033: Control of Food-Borne Pathogens in Pre- and Post-Harvest Environments
Department of Animal and Food Sciences
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 1999) reported new, more accurate estimates of foodborne illnesses that occur annually. An estimated 76 million cases of foodborne illness, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths occur each year from food-borne microorganisms (Mead et al., 1999). The food safety surveillance system, FoodNet, indicates that more cases of food-borne illness occurred, but fewer deaths were caused by foodborne disease agents than previously reported. Campylobacter spp. was responsible for the most cases of foodborne illness. Salmonella (nontyphoidal) caused the most deaths; Listeria monocytogenes also causing a significant number of deaths. In summary, the report indicates that foodborne pathogens have a significant impact on human health and the food industry in the United States.
In addition to human suffering, foodborne illnesses also have a substantial economic impact in the United States. The annual cost of foodborne illness in the U.S. is estimated at $5-$6 billion for loss of productivity and medical expenses (Marks and Roberts, 1993). The most costly food-borne illnesses are caused by Toxoplasma gondii, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. New methods to prevent, reduce or eliminate foodborne disease agents at all points of the food chain, from farm to fork , are needed to improve the safety of the food supply to prevent illnesses and deaths and to prevent economic losses to the food industry.
2009 Project Description
Commonly consumed spices and herbs have been used for centuries to incorporate flavor and extend the storage of foods. As natural food additives, spices and herbs are on the verge of a new era and of particular interest because of their known antimicrobial power.
This study focuses on the antimicrobial effects of pungent spices and herbs when used in combination with the antimicrobial agent allicin, from garlic. Our objective was to determine antimicrobial effects of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, tulsi and chilli when used in combination with the antimicrobial agent, allicin. These spices and herbs were used in treatment combinations with allicin for the purpose of decreases the pungent odor and flavors when applied to a food system.
Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus polymyxa, commonly found food spoilage organisms, were treated using the five aforementioned spices and herbs in equal combination with the antimicrobial agent allicin at treatment doses of 0.1uL of 100%, 50%, 25% and 12.5% solutions. Each treatment was compared with the antimicrobial effects of the pure spice or herb, allicin, 95% ethanol, along with a negative control treatment (no antimicrobial agent and no 95% ethanol added). All treatments were stored at 32C for 60 hours and evaluated in triplicate to insure reproducibility. Microbial growth was measured with a Bausch & Lomb Spectronic 70 Spectrophotometer.
Antimicrobial effect of the spices and herbs in combination with allicin was achieved throughout the study and was related to the synergistic effects of the spices and herbs in combination with allicin. These findings suggest that the pungent odors and off flavors of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, tulsi and chilli when applied to a food system for the purpose of imparting an antimicrobial effect will be decreased by two fold.