Avocado Key to Eliminating Listeria Outbreaks

Research shows that components found in avocado pits are effective at fighting the foodborne illness.

A new study published in the Journal of Food Science found that isolated compounds extracted from avocados, particularly the seed, are effective in controlling the growth of listeria. Scientists from Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico believe that organic compounds—called acetogenins—found in avocados have antilisterial properties and, when added to ready-to-eat foods, can prevent the spread of the disease, which causes symptoms such as muscle aches, fever, gastrointestinal issues, and even death. The food-borne illness sickens approximately 160,000 people annually, with 260 of those resulting in death. Other plant based foods—including chicory root—have been found to contain protective qualities against illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

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