- When cinnamon is in, Escherichia coli O157:H7 is out.
That's what researchers at Kansas State University discovered in laboratory
tests with cinnamon and apple juice heavily tainted with the bacteria.
Presented at the Institute of Food Technologists' 1999 Annual Meeting in
Chicago on July 27, the study findings revealed that cinnamon is a lethal
weapon against E. coli O157:H7 and may be able to help control it in unpasteurized
- Lead researcher Erdogan Ceylan, M.S., reported that in
apple juice samples inoculated with about one million E. coli O157:H7 bacteria,
about one teaspoon (0.3 percent) of cinnamon killed 99.5 percent of the
bacteria in three days at room temperature (25 C). When the same amount
of cinnamon was combined with either 0.1 percent sodium benzoate or potassium
sorbate, preservatives approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the
E. coli were knocked out to an undetectable level. The number of bacteria
added to the test samples was 100 times the number typically found in contaminated
- "This research indicates that the use of cinnamon
alone and in combination with preservatives in apple juice, besides its
flavoring effect, might reduce and control the number of E. coli O157:H7,"
concluded Ceylan, a Ph.D. graduate assistant at K-State. "Cinna-mon
may help protect consumers against foodborne bacteria that may be in unpasteurized
juices and may partially or completely replace preservatives in foods to
maintain their safety," he said.
- "If cinnamon can knock out E. coli O157:H7, one
of the most virulent foodborne microorganisms that exists today, it will
certainly have antimicrobial effects on other common foodborne bacteria,
such as Salmonella and Campylobacter," noted Daniel Y.C. Fung, Ph.D.,
professor of Food Science in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry
at K-State, who oversaw the research.
- Last year, Fung and Ceylan researched the antimicrobial
effects of various spices on E. coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef and sausage
and found that cinnamon, clove, and garlic were the most powerful. This
research led to their recent studies on cinnamon in apple juice, which
proved to be a more effective medium than meat for the spice to kill the
- "In liquid, the E. coli have nowhere to hide,"
Fung noted, "whereas in a solid structure, such as ground meat, the
bacteria can get trapped in the fat or other cells and avoid contact with
the cinnamon. But this cannot happen in a free-moving environment."
- Regardless of the K-State findings, people who are at
greater than normal risk for foodborne diseases-- namely the elderly, young
children, or immune-compromised-- would be urged to avoid drinking unpasteurized
juices or unthoroughly cooked hamburgers, which may contain harmful microorganisms.
- For a copy of the study presented at IFT's Annual Meeting,
contact Angela Dansby at 312-82-8424 x127 or via e-mail at <mailto:email@example.com@ift.org
- Founded in 1939, IFT is a non-profit scientific society
with 28,000 members working in food science, technology and related professions
in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and
technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues.
- Note: This story has been adapted from a news release
issued by Institute Of Food Technologists for journalists and other members
of the public. If you wish to quote from any part of this story, please
credit Institute Of Food Technologists as the original source. You may
also wish to include the following link in any citation: <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990806074926.htmhttp://www.scien