Popular in Mexican and Thai food, the herb cilantro (also called Chinese parsley) contains a chemical known as dodecenal, which has been found to kill the Salmonella bacteria that causes food borne illness.
Dodecenal is present not only in the leaves of cilantro, but also in its seeds, which are more commonly known as coriander.
This info could lead to expanded use of dodecenal as a tasteless food additive to prevent food borne illness - perhaps as a protective coating for meats in processing plants, or even as a disinfectant to be used in cleaning and hand washing.
But don't rely on cilantro alone to safeguard your food: There's only a small amount of the potent antibacterial in a typical serving.
So while it's nice to know that this herb is doing its best to keep us healthy, it won't necessarily save your life. But it can save your salsa, because I tell you, nothing beats the flavor of fresh cilantro.