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A female scientist looking at an agar plate

A female scientist looking at an agar plate

Natural Remedies For Fighting Foodborne Bacteria

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ARS chemists prepare orange peels for flash extraction of pectin.

While our food supply is generally among the safest in the world, there are still approximately 48 million cases of foodborne illness reported annually. To help keep our poultry and eggs free from unwanted contaminants, ARS scientists with the Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Laboratory in Fayetteville, AR, found that certain plant-based compounds and probiotic cultures were able to serve as effective controls against harmful bacteria, such as Campylobacter or Salmonella. Additionally, edible coatings, such as chitosan (derived from crustacean shells) and pectin (extracted from citrus fruits) also consistently reduced the presence and virulence of potentially illness-inducing bacteria.

These developments are particularly important because they provide the poultry industry and farmers with effective and economical strategies to combat harmful microbes and extend shelf lives. As naturally sourced additives, the use of plant-based compounds, probiotic bacterial cultures, and edible coatings lessen the industry’s use of chemical bactericides and preservatives.

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