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Biofactors. 2005;23(4):243-51.

The action of berry phenolics against human intestinal pathogens.

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VTT Biotechnology, P.O. Box 1500, FI-02044 VTT, Finland.


Phenolic compounds present in berries selectively inhibit the growth of human gastrointestinal pathogens. Especially cranberry, cloudberry, raspberry, strawberry and bilberry possess clear antimicrobial effects against e.g. salmonella and staphylococcus. Complex phenolic polymers, such as ellagitannins, are strong antibacterial agents present in cloudberry, raspberry and strawberry. Berry phenolics seem to affect the growth of different bacterial species with different mechanisms. Adherence of bacteria to epithelial surfaces is a prerequisite for colonization and infection of many pathogens. Antimicrobial activity of berries may also be related to anti-adherence activity of the berries. Utilization of enzymes in berry processing increases the amount of phenolics and antimicrobial activity of the berry products. Antimicrobial berry compounds are likely to have many important applications in the future as natural antimicrobial agents for food industry as well as for medicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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