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Garlic Compounds Prevent Powdered Baby Formula Contamination

November 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A Canadian study finds that two compounds in garlic – diallyl sulfide and ajoene – significantly reduce the contamination risk of a harmful bacteria sometimes found in powdered infant formula. Cronobacter sakazakii is a foodborne pathogen that causes a rare but often fatal infection in infants. It can poison a baby's bloodstream and lead to life-threatening cases of meningitis. Though equipment used to make milk products is typically cleaned with chemicals like chlorine, garlic compounds would provide a natural decontaminating alternative. "We believe these compounds are more beneficial in protecting babies against this pathogen," one researcher said.
S. Feng et al., "Investigating Cronobacter sakazakii responses to garlic-derived organosulfur compounds: a systematic study of pathogenic bacteria injury using high-throughput whole transcriptome sequencing and confocal micro-Raman spectroscopy", Applied and Environmental Microbiology, November 25, 2013, © American Society for Microbiology
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