Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

26 percent of herbs eaten in Spain are contaminated with bacteria, study suggests

Date:
March 3, 2011
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
Up to 20 percent of spices and 26 percent of herbs sold in Spain are contaminated by various bacteria, reducing their quality. The study, which is the first of its kind in Spain, suggests that health and hygiene control systems should be put in place, from cultivation of these products right through to when they reach the market.

A research team from the University of Valencia has discovered that up to 20% of spices and 26% of herbs sold in Spain are contaminated by various bacteria. The study, which is the first of its kind in Spain, suggests that health and hygiene control systems should be put in place, from cultivation of these products right through to when they reach the market.

Scientists from the University of Valencia have for the first time studied the microbiological quality of 53 samples of spices and herbs such as thyme and oregano sold at Spanish markets.

The results, which have been published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, show that 10% of spices are contaminated with mesophilic aerobic microorganisms and 20% with enterobacteriaceae. The contamination level in aromatic herbs was 26% for both these kinds of bacteria.

The studies detected the presence of bacteria from the genuses Acinetobacter (A. calcoaceticus), Enterobacter and Shigella. Species of microorganisms such as Yersinia intermedia, Staphylococcus aureus and Hafni alvei were also found.

Greater product quality control needed

"Herbs and spices are exposed to a wide variety of contaminants both before and after production, and can contain high levels of bacteria," the researchers say.

Since the results display "poor microbiological quality" in approximately 25% of the samples analysed, the authors recommend that "health controls should be improved during the production of herbs and spices, in order to prevent health risks."

The study shows that several variations can turn up in a single species of herb or spice, "probably because the production and cultivation conditions are not the same" in different regions. The composition of the essential oils from herbs and spices varies according to geographical region, age, type, and the drying method used.

Some of the samples analysed, such as thyme, displayed good hygiene-health quality, probably due to the presence of essential oils with antibacterial properties.


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. Isabel Sospedra, Jose M. Soriano, Jordi Maρes. Assessment of the Microbiological Safety of Dried Spices and Herbs Commercialized in Spain. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 2010; 65 (4): 364 DOI: 10.1007/s11130-010-0186-0

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "26 percent of herbs eaten in Spain are contaminated with bacteria, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303111419.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2011, March 3). 26 percent of herbs eaten in Spain are contaminated with bacteria, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303111419.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "26 percent of herbs eaten in Spain are contaminated with bacteria, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303111419.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) — Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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