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      Antimicrobial properties of phenolic compounds from berries

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      Journal of Applied Microbiology

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          To investigate the antimicrobial properties of phenolic compounds present in Finnish berries against probiotic bacteria and other intestinal bacteria, including pathogenic species. Antimicrobial activity of pure phenolic compounds representing flavonoids and phenolic acids, and eight extracts from common Finnish berries, was measured against selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species, including probiotic bacteria and the intestinal pathogen Salmonella. Antimicrobial activity was screened by an agar diffusion method and bacterial growth was measured in liquid culture as a more accurate assay. Myricetin inhibited the growth of all lactic acid bacteria derived from the human gastrointestinal tract flora but it did not affect the Salmonella strain. In general, berry extracts inhibited the growth of Gram-negative but not Gram-positive bacteria. These variations may reflect differences in cell surface structures between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Cloudberry, raspberry and strawberry extracts were strong inhibitors of Salmonella. Sea buckthorn berry and blackcurrant showed the least activity against Gram-negative bacteria. Different bacterial species exhibit different sensitivities towards phenolics. These properties can be utilized in functional food development and in food preservative purposes.

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          Antioxidant activity of plant extracts containing phenolic compounds.

          The antioxidative activity of a total of 92 phenolic extracts from edible and nonedible plant materials (berries, fruits, vegetables, herbs, cereals, tree materials, plant sprouts, and seeds) was examined by autoxidation of methyl linoleate. The content of total phenolics in the extracts was determined spectrometrically according to the Folin-Ciocalteu procedure and calculated as gallic acid equivalents (GAE). Among edible plant materials, remarkable high antioxidant activity and high total phenolic content (GAE > 20 mg/g) were found in berries, especially aronia and crowberry. Apple extracts (two varieties) showed also strong antioxidant activity even though the total phenolic contents were low (GAE < 12.1 mg/g). Among nonedible plant materials, high activities were found in tree materials, especially in willow bark, spruce needles, pine bark and cork, and birch phloem, and in some medicinal plants including heather, bog-rosemary, willow herb, and meadowsweet. In addition, potato peel and beetroot peel extracts showed strong antioxidant effects. To utilize these significant sources of natural antioxidants, further characterization of the phenolic composition is needed.
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            Antimicrobial properties of tannins

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              Flavonoid intake and long-term risk of coronary heart disease and cancer in the seven countries study.

              To determine whether flavonoid intake explains differences in mortality rates from chronic diseases between populations. Cross-cultural correlation study. Sixteen cohorts of the Seven Countries Study in whom flavonoid intake at baseline around 1960 was estimated by flavonoid analysis of equivalent food composites that represented the average diet in the cohorts. Mortality from coronary heart disease, cancer (various sites), and all causes in the 16 cohorts after 25 years of follow-up. Average intake of antioxidant flavonoids was inversely associated with mortality from coronary heart disease and explained about 25% of the variance in coronary heart disease rates in the 16 cohorts. In multivariate analysis, intake of saturated fat (73%; P = 0.0001), flavonoid intake (8%, P = .01), and percentage of smokers per cohort (9%; P = .03) explained together, independent of intake of alcohol and antioxidant vitamins, 90% of the variance in coronary heart disease rates. Flavonoid intake was not independently associated with mortality from other causes. Average flavonoid intake may partly contribute to differences in coronary heart disease mortality across populations, but it does not seem to be an important determinant of cancer mortality.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Applied Microbiology
                J Appl Microbiol
                Wiley
                1364-5072
                1365-2672
                April 2001
                April 2001
                : 90
                : 4
                : 494-507
                Article
                10.1046/j.1365-2672.2001.01271.x
                11309059
                © 2001

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