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Research Project: New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Chemistry, antimicrobial mechanisms, and antibiotic activities of cinnamaldehyde against pathogenic bacteria in animal feeds and human foods

item Friedman, Mendel

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2017
Publication Date: 11/20/2017
Citation: Friedman, M. 2017. Chemistry, antimicrobial mechanisms, and antibiotic activities of cinnamaldehyde against pathogenic bacteria in animal feeds and human foods. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 65(48):10406-10423. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.7b04344.

Interpretive Summary: Foodborne diseases result from ingesting animal feed and human food that are contaminated with either infectious microorganisms or toxins produced by microorganisms. The antibiotic resistance of some pathogens is a major concern. The investigations described here into the use of cinnamaldehyde as an antimicrobial agent to protect animal feed, farm animals, and food from contamination are of general interest to farmers, consumers, and food and medical scientists. Indeed, cinnamaldehyde is not just a potentially an antimicrobial agent, other health benefits reported, including anticarcinogenic and antidiabetic properties, suggest that it has potential to help alleviate other diseases. Generally-recognized-as safe (GRAS)-listed cinnamaldehyde has been shown in many cases to be an effective antimicrobial in farm animal feeds and in/on food from many different food categories for its antimicrobial activities against bacterial foodborne pathogens as well as spoilage microorganisms in foods and feeds. Because cinnamaldehyde is a safe compound with a pleasant taste and odor and is already added to foods to enhance flavor, synthetic cinnamaldehyde has the potential to be an inexpensive source of a food-compatible, broad-spectrum antimicrobial for use against a broad range of infectious diseases of animal and humans. The suggested research needs should help to optimize the potential use of cinnamaldehyde in animal feeds, on or in human food items, as well as in medicine to combat pathogen contamination and infection.

Technical Abstract: Cinnamaldehyde is a major constituent of cinnamon essential oils produced by aromatic cinnamon plants. This compound has been reported to exhibit antimicrobial properties in vitro in laboratory media and in animal feeds and human foods contaminated with disease-causing bacteria including Bacillus cereus, Campylobacter jejuni, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. This integrated review surveys and interprets our current knowledge of the chemistry, analysis, safety, and mechanism of action, and antibiotic activities of cinnamaldehyde in food-animal (cattle, lambs, calves, pigs, poultry) diets and in widely consumed liquid (apple, carrot, tomato, and watermelon juices, milk) and solid foods, including various fruits (bayberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), vegetables (leafy greens, tomatoes), meats (beef, ham, pork, frankfurters), poultry (chickens and turkeys), eggs, seafood (oysters and shrimp), bread, cheese, peanut paste, and infant formula. The described findings are not only of fundamental interest but also have practical implications for food safety, nutrition, and animal and human health. The collated information and suggested research needs will hopefully facilitate and guide further studies needed to optimize the use of cinnamaldehyde alone and in combination with other natural antimicrobials and medicinal antibiotics to help prevent and treat food-animal and human diseases.