Antimicrobials

Evaluation of the Antimicrobial properties of >100 types of Chili Peppers

Around the world, chili peppers are added to foods to prolong spoilage, and the ancient Mayans used ground chili peppers and chili pepper plant leaves in 100’s of medical remedies to treat human illness.  Some research has been done testing a handful of chili peppers available in grocery stores for their antimicrobial properties, but 1,000s of types of chili peppers from over 25 different species remain untested including the hottest in the world.

Professor David Baumler in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition and his research team seek to test exotic and rare chili peppers from all over the world for their antimicrobial properties against numerous foodborne microbial pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, Bacillus, Staphlococcus and Clostridia spp.

Once the most effective chili types are identified, we plan to test the efficacy of these organic natural antimicrobials to prevent spoilage and the growth of foodborne pathogens in fermented dairy foods and meats.