Garlic is known to have numerous beneficial effects for human health, yet not much work has been done previously to explore its use as a natural food preservative. This study was designed to evaluate if garlic can be used as a natural preservative to prevent meat spoilage due to bacterial growth during storage. Skinless chicken legs and non-pathogenic strains of Salmonella and E. coli were used as test models. Two-thirds of the chicken legs were experimentally contaminated with Salmonella and E. coli by dipping them in a bacterial suspension. Half of the contaminated chicken legs was then dipped in garlic extract for 10 minutes, and the other half was kept as the untreated control. Both treated and untreated legs were packed with clear plastic and stored at 4°C. All legs were swabbed individually at 0, 5 and 15 days of storage and tested for the presence of bacteria using nutrient agar plates. The experiment was done three times. The results of this experiment proved that garlic could be used as an effective meat preservative to prevent spoilage of meat due to bacterial growth. Garlic kept on killing bacteria when Salmonella and E. coli contaminated chicken legs were stored at 4°C up to 15 days. While the number of bacteria in the non-treated meat continued to increase upon storage, in the garlic treated meat bacterial growth was significantly reduced. The finding of this research would be helpful in making safe and healthy food products, eventually leading to maintaining better health.
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