There may soon be a reason to recycle mango seeds as new research suggests they contain compounds that may turn them into a natural food preservative and become a new resource in the fight to prevent deadly food infections.
The work was conducted by a graduate student working on her thesis in agricultural, food and nutritional science at the University of Alberta in Canada. She discovered that tannins – which are compounds extracted from fruit kernels, including mango and grapes – have inhibitory effects against various strains of bacteria such as Listeria.
The latter causes Listeriosis, a potentially deadly digestive system disease, which was responsible for the deaths of 21 people in Canada last year when it was found in some packaged meats.
Christina Engles, the researcher in the study, says that in addition to discovering a natural way of preventing food-born illnesses her work also has a commercial dimension since by processing the kernels to extract tannins businesses will be able to utilize all fruit parts and therefore increase their profits.
The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.