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Chile, Other Spices Protect Bacteria from Irradiation

on 2001/11/21 8:47:02 ( 1372 reads )


ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, November 21, 2001: Capsaicin, the "hot" in hot peppers, continues to amaze the medical researchers, according to this article on a web site devoted to hot (vegie and nonvegie) food. Scientists in India say that some common spices such as chile powder, black pepper, and turmeric can prevent bacteria such as E. coli from being destroyed by irradiation in low doses. The researchers say that their findings indicate that spice extracts could be used to protect healthy tissue in people undergoing radiation therapy. The research was conducted at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai, India. "The observed protection of microbes may essentially be due to the protection of their DNA by the constituents of spices," the researchers wrote. Chile offered the highest level of protection, followed by black pepper and turmeric. The findings from the study are not a cause for concern about irradiated foods. The irradiation doses routinely used to process prepared foods are high enough to kill any E. coli.

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