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Onion Flavonoids Promote Health, Inhibit Growth Of Food-Spoiling Bacteria

January 25, 2010: 05:49 PM EST
A study by Spanish scientists shows that the flavonoids of onion, especially the yellow variety, not only promote good health, but also inhibit bacterial growth in foods, making them “a natural alternative to artificial additives used in the food industry." Synthesized by plants, flavonoids are phenolic compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, vasodilatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. According to the study, they also prevent development of several strains of bacteria (Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus and Listeria monocytogenes) associated with food spoilage. "The onion can be effective for delaying lipid oxidation in emulsions of oil and water – a model system of foods like margarines and mayonnaises – and it also inhibits the growth of microorganisms that alter foods," one researcher said.
Jonathan Santas 1*, María Pilar Almajano 2 & Rosa Carbó 3, "Antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of crude onion (Allium cepa, L.) extracts", International Journal of Food Science and Technology, January 25, 2010, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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