Soy research fights food poisoning
From Food In Canada
The latest use for soy could fight food poisoning. University of Guelph researchers are using soy extracts – isoflavones and peptides – to prevent the growth of microbial pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses.
Suresh Neethirajan is a University of Guelph engineering professor and director of the BioNano Laboratory. Neethirajan and his research team have found soy extracts can be more effective in fighting against bacteria, including Listeria and Pseudomonas pathogens, than current synthetic chemicals commonly used to preserve foods.
Already consumed in everyday food products, soybean derivatives are can be found in food including baked goods, canned foods, cheese, cooking oils, ice cream, and meat alternatives.
“Studies have shown heavy, continued use of current chemical antimicrobial agents can cause strains of bacteria to become resistant and making them ineffective,” says Neethirajan, explaining they also kill all bacteria – good and bad. “Using this soy alternative in food products will only target pathogenic or bad bacteria, leaving the good, healthy bacteria in foods that aid in digestion and help us properly process the food we eat.”
Because the soy extracts have the ability to selectively inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria compared to beneficial bacteria, some health issues commonly associated to the synthetic-based food preservatives will be eliminated, notes Neethirajan.
This project has received support from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.