1 Tahrcountry Musings: Excellent Use for Throwaway Mango Seeds Discovered

Friday, August 14, 2009

Excellent Use for Throwaway Mango Seeds Discovered

Mango seeds are thrown away without a second thought after relishing the pulp. Here is a surprise discovery. Christina Engels from the University of Alberta has found a way to turn the throwaway mango kernels in mangoes into a natural food preservative that could help prevent food poisoning caused by various bacteria. Listeriosis outbreaks originating from contaminated preserved meat had killed 21 Canadians last year.

Ms Engels extracted pure tannins from the mango kernels and found that they have proven inhibitory effects against various strains of bacteria. She did the work to earn her master's degree from the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta

Mango is ranked fifth in world production among the major fruit crops. So the scope for commercial utilization of the discovery of Ms Engels is enormous. The discovery also underlines the need to preserve out biodiversity. Multifarious benefits are yet to be fully tapped. We have only scratched the surface of this cornucopia. A gold mine is waiting to be tapped. But man is destroying the biodiversity for short term benefits.

Details of the research are published in the latest issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.


Cianoy said...

If I'm reading this right, mango seeds or kernels can be used for anti-biotic drugs. Is that correct? I'm interested in reading the journal. How might I obtain a copy?

Mohan Alembath said...

Here is the abstract
Gallotannins were extracted from mango (Mangifera indica L.) kernels with aqueous acetone (80%, v/v) and purified using liquid−liquid extraction and two-step low-pressure liquid chromatography (LPLC) on Sephadex LH-20. Analytical high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry confirmed the presence of hydrolyzable tannins with a degree of galloylation ranging from 4 to 9 and additionally revealed the presence of deca-, undeca-, and dodeca-O-galloylglucose. Further purification using two-step semipreparative HPLC resulted in three pure hydrolyzable tannins, penta-, hexa-, and hepta-O-galloylglucose, with antibacterial activity, as evidenced from the agar spot and critical dilution assays. Although the growth of lactic acid bacteria was not inhibited, the proliferation of Gram-positive food spoilage bacteria was prevented and the growth of Gram-negative Escherichia coli was reduced. Because bacterial growth could be restored by the addition of iron to the medium, this study strongly supports the view that the inhibitory effects of hydrolyzable tannins are due to their iron-complexing properties.

To purchase the full article follow the link