(E. Sanchez, G. De Palma, A. Capilla, E. Nova, T. Pozo, G. Castillejo, V. Varea, A. Marcos, A. Garrote, I. Polanco, A. Lopez, C. Ribes-Koninckx, M.D. Garcia-Novo, C. Calvo, L. Ortigosa, F. Palau, and Y. Sanz, 2011. Influence of environmental and genetic factors linked to celiac disease risk on infant gut colonization by Bacteroides species. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77:5316-5323.)
Garlic Doesn't Just Repel Vampires
The folk wisdom that eating garlic fights illness is ancient. In these more modern times, fruit and vegetable extracts that can inhibit the growth of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms are actually being evaluated as food preservatives, in part because consumers are demanding fewer synthetic chemical food preservatives. Now, a team led by researchers from Washington State University, Pullman, has found, contrary to expectations, that a group of garlic-derived organosulfur compounds has greater antimicrobial activity than garlic-derived phenolic compounds. The research is published in the August 2011 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
"The novelty of this paper is that we found that diallyl sulfides contribute more to antimicrobial activity of garlic extract than do phenolic compounds," says coauthor Xiaonan Lu. "We used biophysical techniques, namely infrared and Raman spectroscopy, to demonstrate that diallyl sulfide can freely penetrate bacterial membranes and combine with sulfur containing proteins and enzymes, which is the major antimicrobial mechanism of these organosulfur compounds."
"This is the first time researchers have combined infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy, which are complementary techniques, to study the mechanisms of bacterial injury and inactivation," says Lu
|Contact: Jim Sliwa|
American Society for Microbiology