Scientists from the University of Beira Interior in Portugal have found that oil from a common Indian spice is toxic to a broad range of harmful bacteria and its use in foods and in clinical agents could prevent food-borne illnesses and even treat antibiotic-resistant infections.
The researchers tested coriander oil against 12 bacterial strains, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Bacillus cereus and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
`The results indicate that coriander oil damages the membrane surrounding the bacterial cell. This disrupts the barrier between the cell and its environment and inhibits essential processes including respiration, which ultimately leads to death of the bacterial cell,` explained Dr Fernanda Domingues who led the study.
The study has been published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.