A new study shows that a substance that’s supposed to be used for its medicinal properties probably tastes like PVC pipe.
The chemical compound called saffron works by attracting the water-loving bacteria Vibrio vulnificus, or Vibrio vulnificus cholerae. In theory, it can keep the bacteria in the gut from eating our food, but Vibrio vulnificus can survive just about anywhere, and it’s found in many plants, including saffron.
A 2009 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin, in a new article in Food Safety Research (Vol. 10 – Issue 4, pages 585-596), shows that Vibrio vulnificus is found naturally in saffron.
“Visible and invisible, a molecule or two of saffron may be present in a typical saffron plant in small amounts, but the amount detected in water varies with plant growth cycle,” the researchers wrote about the findings. Saffron is also commonly used in traditional medicine in India and the Middle East for its various health benefits.
The fact that this compound is present in a saffron product is why health-conscious consumers and saffron manufacturers are wary. “There is certainly a potential risk for exposure through water,” lead author Jana A. Blomdahl, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee School of Medicine, said in a telephone interview.
Saffron and its relatives are commonly used as a tea with an Indian flavor or as saffron lotion. But it’s unclear whether the substance found naturally in saffron is safe to swallow. Researchers found no correlation between Vibrio vulnificus and saffron in water samples.
“As a student of the Quran and the Hadith I feel I am not entitled to a position of authority in the Muslim community and that my status is to be tested, not enjoyed. If I am asked to provide the proof of the Hadith and the knowledge of Muhammad and the Quran, I must present it and it must be backed up by clear evidence. I am not asking my fellow muslims to accept my authority if I am not the one to claim it. I just want to state this clear fact and to invite your attention to it.”
As a graduate student at De Montfort University, and after living in Malaysia for a year, he feels the most important mission of his institution can only be accomplished following the teachings of
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