Research at Edmonton’s University of Alberta may lead to the development of a natural food preservative to help prevent listeriosis outbreaks.
Researcher Christina Engels, a masters’ student in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science, found that pure tannins extracted from mango kernels have inhibitory effects against various bacteria strains, including listeria. Until now, mango seeds have traditionally been discarded.
Engels believes the findings can also apply to fruit seeds such as grapes. She adds that not only would use of such seeds potentially prevent deadly bacteria outbreaks, but it may also help to maximize efficiency and profitability for food processors. “By processing the kernels for their tannins, businesses have a way to completely utilize all fruit parts and therefore increase their profit,” she says.
The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.