Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The onion, a natural alternative to artificial preservatives

Date:
April 14, 2010
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
Some components of the onion have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, making it possible to use this bulb for food preservation, new research from Spain demonstrates.

Onions are a natural alternative to artificial preservatives, new research shows.
Credit: Santas et al.

Some components of the onion have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, making it possible to use this bulb for food preservation. This is demonstrated by researchers from the Polytechnic University of Cataluña (UPC) and the University of Barcelona (UB) in a study that has just been published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology.

"The antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of the flavonoids of the raw onion make it a good candidate for use in food preservation," says researcher Jonathan Santas from the Department of Nutrition and Bromatology at UB and co-author of a project carried out in the Department of Agrifood Engineering and Biotechnology at UPC.

The study, that has just been published by the International Journal of Food Science and Technology, shows that the flavonoids of onion, in addition to having beneficial properties for health, increase the life of foods, and so "they are a natural alternative to artificial additives used in the food industry." Flavonoids are phenolic compounds (with the phenol group) which are synthesized by plants.

The results confirm that, especially the yellow variety, is "a good source of these types of substances, and there is a positive correlation between the presence of flavonoids and their antioxidant capacity."

"The onion can be effective for delaying lipid oxidation in emulsions of oil and water -a model system of foods like margarines and mayonnaises-, and it also inhibits the growth of microorganisms that alter foods," Santas indicates.

The scientific team analysed onions of the White varieties "Fuentes de Ebro" and "Calçot de Valls" and the yellow variety "Grano de Oro." Using them the researchers demonstrated that phenolic compounds in the onion prevent the development of bacteria such as Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus and Listeria monocytogenes, microorganisms typically associated with the deterioration of foods.

Previous studies indicate that flavonoids have beneficial effects for health due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, vasodilatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, making it of special interest in the prevention of chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular illnesses, and some types of cancer.

A more stable component

The flavonoids of the onion are more stable than some of its other components, such as sulphur compounds. Traditionally it was indicated that these sulphuric compounds are good for the health, as they are responsible for the characteristic taste, aroma and lacrimogenic effects of the plant. These substances, which are very volatile and unstable, are released when the onion is damaged or cut.

The onion (Allium cepa) is one of the most cultivated and consumed vegetables on the planet (around 66 million tonnes in 2008, of which 1.1 million were produced in Spain, especially in Castilla-La Mancha), and one of the main ingredients of the Mediterranean diet.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jonathan Santas, María Pilar Almajano, Rosa Carbó. Antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of crude onion (Allium cepa, L.) extracts. International Journal of Food Science & Technology, 2010; 45 (2): 403 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2621.2009.02169.x

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "The onion, a natural alternative to artificial preservatives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100414111028.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2010, April 14). The onion, a natural alternative to artificial preservatives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100414111028.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "The onion, a natural alternative to artificial preservatives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100414111028.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins