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The UC Berkeley School of Public Health offers a university course on health impact assessment in which students critically evaluate a local, regional, or state land use or transportation project, identifying health benefits and consequences, potential ap... more
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"The study suggests that people should eat more salsa with their food, especially fresh salsa," Kubo adds.
In addition to dodecenal, about a dozen other antibiotic compounds were isolated from fresh cilantro that show some activity against a variety of harmful bacteria.
Salsa likely contains even more antibacterial compounds that have not yet been identified, according to Kubo.
The findings could lead to expanded use of dodecenal as a tasteless food additive to prevent foodborne illness, perhaps as a protective coating for meats in processing plants, or even as a general purpose disinfectant to be used in cleaning and hand washing, Kubo says.
But don't rely on salsa alone to safeguard your food: There's only a small amount of the potent antibacterial in a typical serving.
"If you were eating a hot dog or hamburger," explains Kubo, "you would probably have to eat an equivalent weight of cilantro to have an optimal effect against food poisoning."
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