(Yicai Global) Sept. 19 -- A team of scientists at China's Tianjin University have discovered bigger-than-expected antibacterial properties in Chinese pickled Laba garlic, anticipating the condiment to be used as an alternative for antibiotics.
Professor Chen Haixia's team found out that Laba garlic has three active peptides that can destroy bacteria, Science and Technology Daily reported today. The results have also been published in Food & Function, an international science journal.
The vinegar-preserved green and slightly spicy dish is usually prepared for the Laba Festival, a traditional Chinese holiday related to Buddhism.
The research provides a theoretical basis for the application of natural antimicrobial peptide drugs, said Chen's team member Gao Xudong. Laba garlic could offer one way to reduce patients' reliance on antibiotics, the overuse of which gives growth to antibiotic-resistant superbugs, the report added.
The National Natural Science Foundation and Tianjin's Science and Technology Fund have so far been financing the research.
Editor: Emmi Laine