Avocado seed extracts can be used as a natural additive in ready-to-eat foods to control microbes that cause bacterial illness, say researchers.
The researchers found that the extracts from avocado seeds could be effective in controlling microbes that cause Listeria, a food-borne bacterial illness that can be very serious for pregnant women and people with impaired immune systems.
‘Avocado seed extract can be used to prevent microbial growth in ready-to-eat foods and make it safe for consumption.’
In the study, the researchers from Tecnologico de Monterrey, in Mexico compared enriched acetogenin extract (EAE) from avocado seeds with two name-brand synthetic antimicrobials.
They found that the EAE presented similar listeria-properties and chemical profiles to the synthetic antimicrobials.
The EAE was effective at 37 degrees Celsius and at a refrigeration temperature of four degrees Celsius.
Avocado seeds are a waste product of the food industry, and these results offer a value-added, sustainable opportunity for manufacturers, the researchers said.
Food products are usually formulated with synthetic additives that enhance the flavor so that it gives food a particular taste or smell. It may be derived from natural ingredients or created artificially.
However, food still has to be safe for consumers to eat, so food scientists are looking for ways to replace synthetic additives.
Since some additives are needed for food safety reasons, food product developers are faced with the challenge of developing more "natural" additives that can produce comparable results, the study said.
The study was published in the Journal of Food Science.