In the search for more natural food additives to keep foods safe and fresh, researchers have discovered that isolated compounds from avocado seed extracts could limit the growth of Listeria bacteria in ready-to-eat foods. 

This research, conducted by scientists at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico, was prompted in part by increasing consumer demand for more food products to be produced without the inclusion of synthetic ingredients. To date, food scientists have not been able to do this while simultaneously producing a comparable food product.

The study compared enriched acetogenin extract from avocado seeds with two name-brand synthetic antimicrobials. The avocado extra produced almost identical results as the antimicrobials in terms of Listeria prevention. Now, researchers need to further study the bioavailability and safety of avocado seed extracts because the level of acetogenins are considered high. Still, the use of avocado seeds--a product that generally serves no purpose--is a sustainable and cost-effective solution for food manufacturers.

The study was published recently in the Journal of Food Science.

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