A new study has been conducted on antibacterial activity of aqueous extracts of Clove (SyzygiumAromaticum) by members of Food Safety Research Group at Department of Microbiology, University of Karachi, including Tayyaba Majeed, Najmul Hasan with the co-operation of Dr. Mathurot Chaiharn from Division of Biotechnology Maejo University, Thailand. The whole work was supervised by Dr. Tanveer Abbas Ph.D from the Surrey University United Kingdom, head of the very same group. This study has demonstrated an intensive impact of Clove extract on several bacterial strains including food spoilage causing bacteria.

CLOVES ARE the unopened “flower buds” from evergreen rain-forest tree found exclusively in Indonesia. Botanically, it belongs to the family of Myrtaceae of the genus; Sygyzium, and scientifically named as Sygizium aromaticum. When the buds are pink they are picked by hand and dried until they turn brown in color. Cloves are about 1/2-inch long and 1/4-inch in diameter and with their tapered stem, they resemble tiny nails. In fact, the English name is derived from the Latin word Clavus, which means nail. Although cloves have a very hard exterior, their flesh consists of an oily compound that is important to their nutritional and flavor profile. They are one of the highly prized spices, widely recognized all over the world for their medicinal and culinary qualities. Like other spices, cloves are available throughout the year. They are renowned for providing their uniquely warm, sweet and aromatic taste to ginger bread and pumpkin pie, but they can also make a wonderful addition to split pea and bean soups, baked beans and chili.

The study done by the members of Food Safety Research Group was conducted to evaluate the antibacterial activity of aqueous extract of clove against clinical and foodborne isolates. In vitro antibacterial activity of different concentrations of aqueous extract was investigated against five clinical isolates. Different kinds of tests were performed to evaluate its antibacterial efficacy.

Since the aqueous extract of clove has bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity against all test isolates that were resistant against various antibiotics tested, so its effective use can be made in therapy for infections caused by such bacterial pathogens as in recent years multidrug resistance has emerged among pathogenic bacteria against antibiotic therapy. Moreover, as Clove has also been used in the form of food additive as spice, therefore its spice extract was also monitored which showed remarkable activity against S. enteric ATCC 14028 and which is an important food spoilage causing organism so it may also provide an alternative to conventional antibacterial food additives.

Moreover theapplication of natural antimicrobials as preservative andfood additives to inhibit the growth of food spoilagebacteria and fungi and to increase the shelf life of product has considered better due to the consumer preference, satisfaction and comfort, since various health hazards areassociated with the use of artificial food preservatives and additives which have been known to cause health problems.

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