July 10, 2007

Cinnamon Eliminates E. coli bacteria

By Kevin Flatt

Cinnamon has a long history both as a spice and as a medicine. Cinnamon’s essential oils also qualify it as an “anti-microbial” food, and the spice has been studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi. Cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties are so effective that research demonstrates this spice can be used as an alternative to traditional food preservatives.

Researchers at Kansas State University have found that cinnamon is effective in eliminating E. coli bacteria in apple juice. An outbreak of that E. coli strand in 1996 was traced to unpasteurized apple juice that killed one child and sickened many others.

Daniel Y.C. Fung, a K-State food microbiologist, and Erdogan Ceylan, a research assistant, studied the antagonistic effect different doses of cinnamon alone and in combination with preservatives would have on E. coli bacteria in apple juice. Ceylan added 1 million E. coli bacteria cells to one milliliter of pasteurized apple juice. The number of bacteria cells added to the juice was higher than the amount of bacteria cells that would be found in consumer food products and was done for experimental purposes only. After adding approximately 0.3 percent of cinnamon - roughly over one teaspoon of the spice to a 64-ounce bottle - about 99 percent of the E. coli was killed.

"Nobody expects apple juice to be a problem," Fung said. "But there have been previous outbreaks of E. coli. We found out that some spices can inhibit the growth of E. coli."

"The objective of this research was to study the inhibitory effect of cinnamon on E. coli 0157: H7 in apple juice and reduce the amount of preservatives used in apple juice," Ceylan said. "We can do it with chemicals but we think using natural resources is a better way."

Previously Fung found that several spices, including garlic, clove, cinnamon, oregano and sage killed 99 percent of E. coli bacteria in ground beef. Fung and Ceylan released their findings at the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists.

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http://www.mediarelations.k-state.edu/WEB/News/MediaGuide/ fungbio.html
News release prepared by: Keener A. Tippin II, 785-532-6415. Used with permission.

Copyright 2007 Kevin Flatt. Reproduction of any information on other websites is PROHIBITED.

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