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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Produce Safety and Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335153

Research Project: Ecology and Detection of Human Pathogens in the Produce Production Continuum

Location: Produce Safety and Microbiology Research

Title: The Potential of Berries to Serve as Selective Inhibitors of Pathogens and Promoters of Beneficial Microorganisms

Author
item Lacombe, Alison - National College Of Natural Medicine
item Wu, Vivian

Submitted to: Food Quality and Safety
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/30/2016
Publication Date: 3/1/2017
Citation: Lacombe, A., Wu, V.C. 2017. The Potential of Berries to Serve as Selective Inhibitors of Pathogens and Promoters of Beneficial Microorganisms. Food Quality and Safety. 1(1):3-12. doi:10.1093/fqs/fyx001.

Interpretive Summary: Health conscious consumers wish to know how dietary interventions can protect them from a wide range of maladies such as foodborne illness, metabolic syndrome, urinary tract infections, and digestive disorders. However, this burgeoning market for natural remedies high in antioxidant requires reliable information on their safety, economy, ecological impacts, and efficacy. Today natural products from berries are being investigated as a new potential arsenal of antimicrobials and prebiotics because their ability to selectively inhibit enteric pathogens while promoting beneficial microorganism. This review explores components of berries that have antimicrobial or prebiotic properties and incorporates new knowledge gained from both in vitro and in vivo experiments.

Technical Abstract: Berries are distinct from other foods because of their unique compounds with bioprotective effects and antimicrobial/prebiotic properties. With new knowledge of how these unique phytochemicals differentially affect microbial communities, inhibit foodborne pathogens, and conserve beneficial species, the health claims associated with berries can be further substantiated. This review explores components of berries that have antimicrobial or prebiotic properties and incorporates new knowledge gained from both in vitro and in vivo experiments. With the continued research efforts, antimicrobials and prebiotics derived from berries may provide an alternative to synthetic preservatives and antibiotics in addition to providing health benefits to consumers. Berries could be applied to food products or as dietary interventions through elucidating which compounds have antimicrobial properties and how pH and nutrient condition impact their efficacy. In addition, these compounds can be added to foods with beneficial microorganism with minimal impact on their probiotic viability.