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Leaves of carob tree, source of chocolate substitute, fight food-poisoning bacteria

Date:
October 17, 2012
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Leaves of the plant that yields carob -- the substitute for chocolate that some consider healthier than chocolate -- are a rich source of antibacterial substances ideal for fighting the microbe responsible for listeriosis, a serious form of food poisoning, according to a new report.
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Leaves of the plant that yields carob -- the substitute for chocolate that some consider healthier than chocolate -- are a rich source of antibacterial substances ideal for fighting the microbe responsible for listeriosis, a serious form of food poisoning.
Credit: © lunamarina / Fotolia

Leaves of the plant that yields carob -- the substitute for chocolate that some consider healthier than chocolate -- are a rich source of antibacterial substances ideal for fighting the microbe responsible for listeriosis, a serious form of food poisoning, according to a report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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.

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.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nadhem Aissani, Valentina Coroneo, Sami Fattouch, Pierluigi Caboni. Inhibitory Effect of Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) Leaves Methanolic Extract onListeria monocytogenes. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012; 60 (40): 9954 DOI: 10.1021/jf3029623

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American Chemical Society. "Leaves of carob tree, source of chocolate substitute, fight food-poisoning bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017141805.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2012, October 17). Leaves of carob tree, source of chocolate substitute, fight food-poisoning bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017141805.htm
American Chemical Society. "Leaves of carob tree, source of chocolate substitute, fight food-poisoning bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017141805.htm (accessed June 30, 2015).

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