Cranberry and oregano help in killing seafood bug

Oregano and cranberries are capable of killing a food-poisoning germ that inhabits seafood, scientist says.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2005 20:15 IST

Oregano and cranberries are a potent antibacterial agent, capable of killing a food-poisoning germ that inhabits seafood, New Scientist says.

The two plants have phenolic compounds that disrupt the cell walls of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bug that causes two-day bouts of stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea.

University of Massachusetts researchers made the discovery by testing a 50-50 mixture of extract of oregano and cranberries on cod fillets and shrimps that they had infected with the microbe.

Adding a dash of lactic acid made the concoction even more effective, the British weekly says.

The report, carried in next Saturday's issue, is taken from a full-length study published in a specialist journal, Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies.

The findings are useful for scientists who are hunting for natural antimicrobials to protect food. They will be interested in the two plants' phenolic qualities rather than taste, texture or colour.

In culinary terms, oregano and cranberry are diametrically apart, with one used to flavour Italian cooking and the other used as a drink or as a sauce for roast turkey.

First Published: Oct 08, 2005 20:15 IST