A new compound found in garlic has 100 times more potency than the two common types of antibiotics against bacterias causing food poisoning.
A new study published online in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy discovered a new substance found in garlic that is 100 times more effective than antibiotics erythromycin and ciproflaxin. The ingredient called diallyl sulfide found in garlic, targets a specific enzyme found in biofilms that protects colonies of Campylobacter which makes the bacteria 1,000 times more resistant to the antibiotics.
Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of food-borne diseases. In the U.S. alone, approximately 2.4 million individuals are affected each year. Campylobacter is also responsible for causing nearly a third of cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare paralyzing disorder.
Most of these infections are mainly caused from eating raw or undercooked foods that were contaminated with the Campylobacter bacterium.
Although eating garlic is generally considered a healthy advantage, it didn't totally prevent Campylobacter food poisoning. However, the authors suggests diallyl sulfide can reduce the levels of Campylobacter in the environment particularly in food processing equipments.
"Diallyl sulfide could make many foods safer to eat," according to co-author, Dr. Barbara Rasco.
"It can be used to clean food preparation surfaces and as a preservative in packaged foods like potato and pasta salads, coleslaw and deli meats." Rasco added.
They suggest it may lead to a new method of treating raw and processed foods and food preparation materials, where most bacterial infections originate.