Current trends have suggested that the continuous use of chemical additives has carcinogenic effects on consumers. This has instigated the research into more organic ingredients such as plant parts which could serve as potential replacement for these additives in food. This study was therefore conducted to compare the proximate and mineral compositions of the powder of cinnamon bark and clove buds collected from Cape Coast-Ghana, and the effects of their extracts on the growth of selected food spoilage micro-organisms. The proximate analysis revealed both cinnamon and clove as rich carbohydrate sources (61.63 and 36.02%, respectively) with protein as their least components (3.44%). Mineral analysis of the samples revealed potassium as predominant in both cinnamon and clove powder (714.8 and 1296.2 mg/100 g) as both samples were found to be very low in magnesium (0.16 and 0.27 mg/100 g, respectively). The Agar well diffusion method was used to ascertain the inhibitory activity of cinnamon and clove oils on some common food spoilage microorganisms. The analysis revealed cinnamon as potent against Escherichia coli and Salmonella Typhi while clove showed a significant inhibitory activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Shigella. In conclusion, the powder of cinnamon bark and clove buds could serve as good carbohydrate and potassium supplements in food while they contribute to increased shelf-life via inhibiting food-borne bacteria.
Key words: Proximate, cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, spices, palatability.
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