April 23/Science Letter -- "Tea, Camellia sinensis (L) O. Kuntze (Theaceae) and coffee, Coffea arabica Linn. (Rubiaceae) possess antimicrobial activity in addition to various biological properties. In this study, six strains of human pathogenic bacteria were assessed for their sensitivity to aqueous extracts of tea and coffee along with their preparations i.e. supplemented with milk and sugar," scientists writing in the International Journal of Food Properties report (see also Food Properties).
"Antibacterial potential of the extracts has been compared with some of the commonly employed antibiotics. Bactericidal activity of the selected extracts was assessed by viable cell count method. Both tea and coffee inhibited bacteria to a variable extent and retained their antibacterial activity even after addition of milk and sugar," wrote D.S. Arora and colleagues, Guru Nanak Dev University.
The researchers concluded, "Equal effectiveness of tea/coffee extracts and their preparations justifies their potential as antibacterial agents."
Arora and colleagues published their study in the International Journal of Food Properties ("Antibacterial Activity of Tea and Coffee: Their Extracts and Preparations." International Journal of Food Properties, 2009;12(2):286-294).
Additional information can be obtained by contacting D.S. Arora, Guru Nanak Development University, Dept. of Microbiology, Microbial Technology Laboratory, Amritsar 143005, Punjab, India.
From the April 27, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition