Listeria is a food borne bacterial illness that can be very serious for pregnant women and people with impaired immune systems. Food products formulated without synthetic additives can be harmful for health therefore, food scientists are looking for ways to replace synthetic additives with natural ones.
Researchers from Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico compared enriched acetogenin extract (EAE) from avocado seeds with two name-brand synthetic antimicrobials. They found that the EAE presented similar listeria-properties and chemical profiles to the synthetic antimicrobials. The EAE was effective at 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and at a refrigeration temperature of 4 degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit).
While humans already consume actetogenins from avocado pulp that are above antilisterial levels, bioavailability and safety of the extracts from avocado seeds need further assessment. Avocado seeds are a waste product of the food industry, and these results offer a value-added, sustainable opportunity for manufacturers.