Cinnamon Extract Provides Powerful Defense Against Viruses

With antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” on the rise, new strategies and materials are desperately needed to combat these and other potentially deadly microorganisms, including human and avian influenza.

Tel Aviv University, Isarel, has taken a big step in fighting these superbugs by developing a novel extract from cinnamon that kills viruses in less than one minute of incubation.

Michael Ovadia, Ph.D., a professor in the university’s zoology department, identified and tested “Viral Neutralizing Fraction” (VNF) in 2001-2002. Both in vitro and animal studies showed the substance neutralized a number of viruses, including human influenza H1N1, avian influenza H5 and H9, Sendai virus, Newcastle disease virus HIV and the human herpes virus. VNF was also successfully used in mice and chicken embryos as a vaccination against Sendai virus and Newcastle disease virus.

VNF shows promise as a possible treatment for human and avian viral infections, as well as a vaccination agent. It may also be incorporated into consumer-care products such as intimate lubricants (reducing the chances of transmission of HIV, the herpes simplex virus and other viruses), air filtering systems, hand sanitizers and cleaners, and personal masks for reducing the spread of viruses in closed spaces. 

An exclusive license for VNF was issued to Frutarom Industries, Ltd., one of the world’s largest flavors companies. The cooperation with Tel Aviv University is part of Frutarom’s broad strategic plan to expand Frutarom’s offering of unique natural products and to strengthen Frutarom’s position and standing as a leading global supplier of natural products and functional food ingredients for tasty and healthy solutions.

To see available technologies from research institutions, click here to visit the AUTM Innovation Marketplace.