Coriander Oil and Food Safety

Thanksgiving Art 001

November is a good time to think about food safety, since the annual American Thanksgiving dinner tradition often means foods are prepared and transported, and may not be properly refrigerated, which can increase the chance of food-borne illnesses. A study recently reported in the Journal of Medical Microbiology shows that the spice coriander can kill bacteria known to cause these illnesses, which can sometimes require hospitalization particularly for young children and the elderly.

In the study, researchers from the University of Beira Interior in Portugal tested coriander oil against 12 strains of bacteria, which included E. coli, Salmonella enterica, Bacillus cereus and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcusaureas, or MERSA.

Most strains were killed by a solution containing 1.6 percent or less of the coriander oil. The oil was not effective against two types of bacteria: Bacillus cereus and Enterococcus faecalis. The researchers believe that the addition of coriander oil to certain products could prevent thousands of illnesses and hundreds of hospitalizations each year. To read the abstract, go to jmm.sgmjournals/org/content/60/10/1479.


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