Cinnamon oil kills pathogenic E. coli strains

| July 22, 2014

Cinnamomum cassia oil (Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services)

Cinnamomum cassia oil (Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services)

A newly published study by researchers at Washington State University in the USA has found that an essential oil from cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) is an effective antibacterial agent against several strains of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).

The researchers tested the oil, the major component of which is cinnamaldehyde, for antibacterial activity against CDC’s ‘top six’ non-O157 STEC serotypes (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145) using a variety of methods. They found that the minimum inhibitory concentration against all six was 0.025%, while the minimum bactericidal concentration varied from 0.05% to 0.1% depending on the bacterial strain. A concentration of 0.1% cassia cinnamon oil showed bactericidal effects on all the strains tested within 15 minutes.

The authors of the study suggest that cassia cinnamon oil has potential as a natural food preservative and decontaminating agent. Co-author Lina Sheng commented, “The oil can be incorporated into films and coatings for packaging both meat and fresh produce. It can also be added into the washing step of meat, fruits of vegetables to eliminate microorganisms.”

The study is published in the journal Food Control and an abstract can be found here.

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Category: Research

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