The sweet, aromatic appeal of honey and the simple pleasures held therein have tempted Man for thousands of years. Today, the burgeoning health trend means that taste and texture may not be enough to exist in the highly competitive food industry.
This week, at the IFT Expo in California, the US National Honey Board presented evidence to suggest the antimicrobial activity that honey possesses against food pathogens and food spoilage microorganisms.
In partnership with a scientific team at the Department of Food Science and Technology, Cornell University, a research study, led by Olga Padilla-Zakour, determined that the growth of many microorganisms is either partially or completely inhibited in the presence of diluted honey. The potential of this study is that the incorporation of honey into foods could enhance their safety and shelf life without the use of chemical preservatives.
"This study expands on previous work which demonstrated the antimicrobial activity of honey against specific bacteria," said Marcia Cardetti, NHB's director of scientific affairs. "The new research now shows us the efficacy of honey against a range of food spoilage bacteria and food pathogens."