Bacterial growth inhibition
Research has found that cranberries may offer defence against food poisoning, due to the fruit’s ability to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Researchers found that adding natural cranberry concentrate to raw minced beef significantly reduced the growth of common foodborne pathogens, including Salmonella, Listeria and E. Coli. Meat manufacturers may be able to add natural cranberry concentrate to raw meat to reduce the risk of it harbouring harmful bacteria, thus lengthening shelf life, avoiding waste and removing E-numbers from product labels. In the trials, minced beef samples inoculated with four pathogens were treated with cranberry concentrate or sterile water (control) and kept at 21 or 7°C. Pathogens and total viable bacteria were enumerated on days 1, 3, 5 and 7. Results showed that compared to the control, cranberry concentrate significantly inhibited foodborne pathogens in minced beef at both 7 and 21°C.
Cranberries are already known for their anti-adhesion capabilities, which are responsible for protecting the urinary tract, stomach and mouth from harmful bacteria. The anti-adhesion effect is primarily due to the structure of the proanthocyanidins (PACs) present in cranberries. These compounds also deliver intense antioxidant activity, which helps to promote good heart health and flushes out harmful free radicals. The evidence to support the benefit of cranberries in reducing the risk of food poisoning strengthens the fruit’s extensive range of nutraceutical effects.
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