Contact: Meral Nugent
Society of Chemical Industry
Sesame seed extract and konjac gum may help ward off Salmonella and E. coli
A new study in SCI's
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
shows that konjac gum and sesame seed extract may offer protection
against different strains of E. coli and Salmonella bacteria.
study by Dr Petra Becker et al from Wageningen University and Research
Centre, the Netherlands, shows that these foodstuffs act as binders for
E. coli and Salmonella bacteria. The bacteria attach themselves to the
fibrous foods instead of the gut cells of the host.
says that eating a diet full of these foodstuffs may offer protection
from gastro-intestinal infections or reduce the severity of symptoms
caused by E. coli or Salmonella.
Other foods that were shown to have a beneficial effect included yeast, tomato, and pumpkin.
the lab study which also included negative controls, the scientists
looked at 18 food-related products including coffee beans, carrot,
mango, fermented soya, and food stabilizers such as locust bean gum and
konjac gum. All were subjected to in-vitro exposure to various bacteria
which were allowed to attach themselves to the test products. The
levels of bound bacteria were determined in a microplate-based method
specifically developed for this purpose.
The results showed
that sesame seed extract and konjac gum had the greatest number of
adhered bacteria, leading to the conclusion that they may have a part
to play in preventing certain E. coli and Salmonella from latching onto
Dr Becker said: 'The importance of fibre,
particularly from certain foodstuffs, in maintaining a healthy gut and
digestion cannot be underestimated. The study shows that these foods
bind certain bacteria and may be a means of stopping bacteria from
entering host cells thereby preventing disease.'
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