Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nordic berries inhibit growth of harmful intestinal bacteria

03.11.2004


A research project carried out by VTT Biotechnology and the University of Helsinki has found that cloudberries and raspberries contain a phenol, ellagic tannin, that inhibits the growth of intestinal bacteria.



The study concerned commercially grown Finnish berries, particularly cloudberry and raspberry. One of the substances inhibiting growth of harmful intestinal bacteria and pathogens is a complex phenolic polymer, ellagic tannin, found in the berries. Other berries and fruit contain only small quantities of ellagic tannin. "We were especially surprised and excited by the observation that probiotics that are beneficial for digestion are not sensitive to the berries, but harmful bacteria are. Consequently, the berries may inhibit the activity of harmful bacteria. The antimicrobial qualities of the berries are also well preserved with e.g. freezing," says the project director, Riitta Puupponen-Pimiä of VTT Biotechnology.

Thus, possible examples of derivatives from the berries might be berry powder to help traveller’s tummy, or berry extract as an added preservative for marinades. During the first three years, the research project collaborated with the food industry. Pharmaceutical and health food industries have joined later. Around ten businesses in all have participated in the project.


Effect of berries on bacteria

The project studied about ten bacteria that cause infections of the alimentary canal and food poisoning, and how they reacted to the phenols in berries. Salmonella and listeria were some of the bacteria under study. The phenols present in the berries were found to inhibit growth of salmonella, staphylococcus and camphylobacter. The phenols in the berries had no significant effect on the functioning of listeria.

"Understanding the interaction of phenolic compounds and bacteria of the alimentary canal is important, for example for developing functional foods. As antimicrobial compounds, phenols may have a previously unforeseen effect on intestinal microbes," says Ms Puupponen-Pimiä.

Widely applicable

The study has aroused a great deal of interest, as it has a wide range of possible applications. The results may be utilised e.g. in developing functional foods, new types of safe food packaging, and in pharmaceutical applications.

The project is currently focusing on developing a method of isolating the phenolic compounds, to enable them to be used in industrial applications. Another objective is development of treatments to increase the concentration of beneficial substances contained in the berries.

The project is part of the National Technology Agency of Finland (Tekes) technology programme Innovation in Foods.

Mira Banerjee | alfa
Further information:
http://www.tekes.fi

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Programming cells with computer-like logic
27.07.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics
27.07.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>