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1 teaspoon of cinnamon per 64-oz bottle of apple juice kills about 99 percent of the E. coli.


Cinnamon kills E. coli in apple juice

By Keener A. Tippin II



Spices, along with sugar and everything nice may be key components in what little girls are made of, according to a children's nursery rhyme, but they are lethal killers when battling deadly E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria.

Researchers at K-State have found that cinnamon is effective in eliminating E. coli bacteria in apple juice. An outbreak of that E. coli strand in 1996 was traced to unpasteurized apple juice that killed one child and sickened many others.

Daniel Y.C. Fung, a K-State food microbiologist, and Erdogan Ceylan, a research assistant, studied the antagonistic effect different doses of cinnamon alone and in combination with preservatives would have on E. coli bacteria in apple juice.

"Nobody expects apple juice to be a problem," Fung said. "But there have been previous outbreaks of E. coli. We found out that some spices can inhibit the growth of E. coli."

Ceylan added 1 million E. coli bacteria cells to one milliliter of pasteurized apple juice. The number of bacteria cells added to the juice was higher than the amount of bacteria cells that would be found in consumer food products and was done for experimental purposes only.

After adding approximately 0.3 percent of cinnamon -- roughly over one teaspoon of the spice to a 64-ounce bottle -- about 99 percent of the E. coli was killed.

"The objective of this research was to study the inhibitory effect of cinnamon on E. coli 0157:H7 in apple juice and reduce the amount of preservatives used in apple juice," Ceylan said. "We can do it with chemicals but we think using natural resources is a better way."

Spring 2002