An ingredient in garlic has been found to be 100 times more powerful than two popular antibiotics at fighting one of the most common causes of food poisoning.
The researchers from Washington State University had their findings published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, and believe the discovery could provide revolutionary approaches to food safety.
They say the diallyl sulphide compound in garlic could provide new, more natural, approaches to the way raw and processed meats and food preparation surfaces are treated.
Dr Xianon Lu and Dr Michael Konkel examined how the compound could kill bacterium when it is protected by a slimy biofilm, which makes it 1000 times more resistant to antibiotics rthan a free floating bacteria cell.
It can easily penetrate the protective biofilm and kill bacteria cell by combining with a sulphur-containing enzyme, they found, which then changed the enzyme’s function and shut down cell metabolism.
They discovered diallyl sulphide is 100 times more effective than regularly prescribed antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin and could often would work in half the time.
The study’s co-author Dr Michael Konkel said the compound is extremely potent.
“This compound has the potential to reduce disease-causing bacteria in the environment and in our food supply. This is the first step in developing or thinking about new intervention strategies.
“This compound has the potential to reduce disease-causing bacteria in the environment and in our food supply,” Konkel said.
“This is the first step in developing or thinking about new intervention strategies.”
Konkel did caution people against getting too excited, however, as the work is still in early stages, and far away from actual application.
He also advised people not stuff themselves with garlic in the hope it will prevent all food poisoning, because while garlic is healthy for you, it will not necessarily prevent against Campylobacter-related food poisoning.
If the findings result in applications to ward against food poisoning, it will be in the form of a scientifically created products produced from the active compound.