Avocado pit could provide natural Listeria defense

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In Mexico, researchers have found that extracts from avocado seed could provide a natural alternative to controlling the growth of microbes that cause Listeria in ready-to-eat food.

Food scientists at the Tecnologico de Monterrey compared enriched acetogenin extract from avocado pits with two synthetic antimicrobials and found that they behaved similarly. EAE was effective at controlling the Listeria-causing microbes at both 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, down to the refrigeration temperature of 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Their work was published in the Journal of Food Science. Further testing needs to be done to confirm safety and bioavailability, although the authors note that EAE is already present in the part of the avocado consumers eat.

Listeria, a foodborne bacterial illness, can be serious for pregnant women or those with impaired immune systems.