Cinnamon helps fight against bird flu
Technology has been created whereby cinnamon extract is
used as an air disinfectant against bird flu in airports, or as a daily supplement
that protects people against the common flu.
Tel Aviv University technology transfer company Ramot has signed an
agreement with Frutarom, a multinational neutraceutical company based in Israel,
for applying a technology of using the a cinnamon extract in a whole host of
applications from disinfecting the air as a spray against avian flu in airports,
to a daily supplement that protects people against the common flu. The discovery
was made by Professor Michael Ovadia, of Tel Aviv University's Department of
Ovadia's initial experiments proved to be true - his savoury cinnamon
extract was able to quickly and efficiently immunise chicken embryos from the
Newcastle disease virus, one which costs the poultry industry in the US alone
millions of dollars a year.
Apparently further studies on avian influenza H9, Sendal virus, and Herpes
Simplex 1 also achieved positive results. "Not only was the extract able to
neutralise the viruses, it also showed for selected viruses that it has the
potential to immunise against them as well."
What the cinnamon does
Besides human applications, Prof Ovadia sees that cinnamon fills an
important niche in the agricultural industry where chicks need to be immunised
by hand against the deadly Newcastle disease virus. Applying his research to the
global scale could only be done with the help of a large company, which is where
Frutarom comes in. The Israeli-based flavour and food additive company has grown
in the last 10-15 years from US$10 million a year to a projected US$350 million
by the end of 2007.
The review says that the University is going to take this know-how from a
food supplement to protect people from illness to neutraceuticals in drugs, also
realising that it can be used in agriculture against bird flu. "This represents
a very diversified product," commented Frutarom's CEO Ori Yehudai.
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