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Chocolate Substitute Can Fight Listeria Bacteria

by VR Sreeraman on October 19, 2012 at 10:24 PM
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 Chocolate Substitute Can Fight Listeria Bacteria

A new research has found that the leaves of the carob plant, which is used as a substitute to chocolate, contain antibacterial substances that may help fight listeriosis, a serious form of food poisoning.

Nadhem Aissani and colleagues explain that the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria has fostered a search for new natural substances to preserve food and control disease-causing microbes. They cite a need for new substances to combat Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria that caused food poisoning outbreaks in a dozen states with three deaths so far this year. Carob has attracted attention as a potential antibacterial substance, but until now, scientists had not tested it against Listeria. Carob may be best-known as a substitute for chocolate that does not contain caffeine or theobromine, which makes chocolate toxic to dogs.

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Their report describes tests in which extracts of carob leaves proved effective in inhibiting the growth of Listeria bacteria growing in laboratory cultures. Further, it offers a possible explanation for the antibacterial action. The results were promising enough for the scientists to plan further tests of carob extracts on Listeria growing in meat and fish samples.

Source: Eurekalert
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