Mustard Effective Against Major Pathogens

CANADA - Researchers with the University of Manitoba are finding compounds capable of killing E. coli during the manufacture of dry uncooked fermentable sausage are also capable of killing other pathogens responsible for food-borne illness in other foods, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 16 August 2011
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Researchers with the University of Manitoba have shown that when E. coli O157:H7 consumes the glucosinolates found in heat-treated mustard flour during the manufacture of dry fermented sausage, the E. coli converts the compounds into isothiocyanates that kill the bacteria.

Dr Rick Holley, a food safety and food microbiology professor with the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, says scientists are also showing these compounds to be effective in dealing with other pathogens in other products.

Dr Rick Holley – University of Manitoba:

We've been working along with Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella serovars and even Campylobacter.

Those organisms are responsible for significant numbers of food-borne illnesses in developed counties each year.

While we haven't analysed large numbers of different strains of these organisms, in those cases where we've looked, we have found these organisms have the enzyme activity that will hydrolyze the glucosinolates from deodorized mustard and generate the lethal isothiocyanates.

What we're doing right now is inoculating bologna that's been formulated with deodorized mustard powder and we're killing
Listeria monocytogenes in vacuum packages stored for 65 days, which is the normal commercial refrigerated shelf life of these kinds of products.

We're also initiating a project on the use of deodorised mustard in antimicrobial films with poultry parts, and we're formulating the deodorised mustard into turkey roasts, and we'll be inoculating with the salmonella and the campylobacter, and hopefully what we'll see there is drastic reductions in contamination by these organisms.

Dr Holley is confident that will raise the bar in terms of the level of food safety that we encounter with these products.

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