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Scientists Discover Natural Antibiotic That Could Protect Foods From Deadly Microbes

August 4, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Minnesota have patented a newly discovered, naturally occurring peptide produced by a harmless bacteria that could be added to food as a potent weapon against deadly foodborne bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria. According to scientists, the lantibiotic they discovered is the first natural preservative that destroys so-called “gram-negative” bacteria, typically the harmful kind. The substance could protect many foods – meats, processed cheeses, egg and dairy products, canned foods, seafood, salad dressing, fermented beverages, etc. – from a broad range of disease-causing microbes. Lantibiotics are easy to digest, nontoxic, and nonallergenic. And dangerous bacteria have a hard time developing a resistance to them.
Dan O'Sullivan and Ju-Hoon Lee, "Researchers Discover Natural Food Preservative That Kills Food-Borne Bacteria", Press release, University of Minnesota, August 04, 2011, © University of Minnesota
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