August 14, 2009

Mango pits effective against Listeria

Mango pits, usually thrown away after processing, could be used as a food preservative against the pathogen Listeria, a Canadian scientist said.

Tannins found in mango pits and grape seeds have been found effective against Listeria, a pathogen found in food that last year was linked to the deaths of 21 Canadians, University of Alberta researcher Christina Engles said.

Mango pits could be turned into a natural food preservative rather than being burned or thrown away after processing, she said.

By processing the kernels for their tannins, businesses have a way to completely utilize all fruit parts and therefore increase their profit, Engles said in a release from the university.

Mangos rank fifth among major fruit crops marketed worldwide. Listeria, a common bacteria found in soil, water, sewage, plants, and food, is responsible for listeriosis, a rare but potentially lethal food-borne infection.