Cinnamon, the latest crusader in the war against E.coli

By 5. August 2014Blog, Health, Risk Management, Taste

Cinnamon is a well known spice, used in a lot of Asian cooking and an essential ingredient of many a winter drink here in Europe but did you know that it can also be used to inhibit the growth of E.coil?

Certain strains of E.coli cause food poisoning. We are probably all familiar with the O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing E.coli (STEC) strain that has been talked about a lot in the news over the years, but there are also the other types known as the non-O157 STEC, to date there are approx. 150 types known that cause human disease.

Scientists from the Washington State University decided to test the effectiveness of cinnamon oil against non-O157 STEC. They found that when used at low concentrations the oil was able to inhibit the growth of the E.coli.

They say the next step in using this oil as an antibacterial on food is to deal with the problem that the oil is quite volatile and does not mix easily with water. They say they will also need to ensure the flavours does not come through as some people would not like to taste cinnamon on some foods.

The publication is available on the Science Direct website.