November 26, 2013
Garlic Not Only Wards Off Vampires, But May Also Protect Babies From Contaminants Found In Baby Formula
April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
A new study from the University of British Columbia reveals that although eating garlic might make your breath a bit unpleasant, it may be a good choice for your baby.The research team found two compounds, diallyl sulfide and ajoene, derived from garlic that significantly reduce the contamination risk from Cronobacter sakazakii in the production of dry infant formula powder. The results of this study were published in a recent issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
The risk reduction could make infant formula powder safer to consume, easing the minds of new mothers who opt not to breast feed, or are unable.
“A trace dose of these two compounds is extremely effective in killing C. sakazakii in the food manufacturing process,” says Xiaonan Lu, assistant professor of food safety engineering in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. “They have the potential to eliminate the pathogen before it ever reaches the consumer.”
Sometimes present in dry infant formula powder and other fortified foods, C. sakazakii is a foodborne pathogen. An infection from the pathogen is rare, but often fatal for infants — poisoning the baby's bloodstream and leading to life-threatening cases of meningitis. C. sakazakii outbreaks have happened around the globe.
The garlic compounds could be used to prevent C. sakazakii contamination on food contact surfaces, according to Lu, and in every step of food production, including processing, packaging and delivery.
“Pipes used in the manufacturing of milk products are typically cleaned with chemicals like chlorine, but these garlic compounds are a natural alternative,” says Lu. “We believe these compounds are more beneficial in protecting babies against this pathogen.”