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PURE Bioscience pushes ahead with direct food contact antimicrobial

By Joe Whitworth+

07-May-2014

Picture: PURE Bioscience. Bacteria are attracted to SDC because they recognize citric acid as a food source. SDC enters the microorganism like a “Trojan Horse” and causes irreversible damage to the DNA, reproductive functions stop and the organism dies
Picture: PURE Bioscience. Bacteria are attracted to SDC because they recognize citric acid as a food source. SDC enters the microorganism like a “Trojan Horse” and causes irreversible damage to the DNA, reproductive functions stop and the organism dies

PURE Bioscience expects to make direct food contact submissions to US regulatory agencies based on testing of its antimicrobial before the end of the month.

The creator of the patented silver dihydrogen citrate (SDC) antimicrobial said it had completed testing of SDC as a processing aid and intervention in poultry.

The firm said one of the main things found so far was that bacteria were not able to build up a resistance.

A submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a food contact notification will be made by the end of May and to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a letter of no objection (LNO) afterwards.

Direct food contact approval

PURE Bioscience is seeking the approval for use of SDC after testing showed it reduces Salmonella in processed poultry and said if the approvals go well, it is looking at Q4 this year for commercialization.

A critical issue for the poultry industry is the persistence of Salmonella through the processing of chicken, said the firm.

SDC is a proprietary combination of stabilized ionic silver and citric acid, said CEO Hank Lambert.

Salmonella is a significant problem, it is the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks related to poultry,” he told FoodQualityNews.com  

“Foodborne illnesses and product recalls have been associated with the likes of Foster Farms and Tyson in the past. It is a persistent problem that shows current processing aids are not adequate.

“SDC can replace existing interventions that are being used, it is applied in the same way and the breadth and speed of pathogen kill is superior to other products.”

Kansas State Uni testing

Testing and evaluating SDC for direct decontamination of chicken during processing was conducted by Dr James Marsden, a food safety scientist and expert, at Kansas State University.

It demonstrated a materially significant reduction in Salmonella contamination.

The results showed that the combination of treatments has the potential to reduce Salmonella on raw poultry products to levels below the detection limit when SDC is included in the process.

"We are constantly searching for new, more effective technologies that reduce the presence of pathogens in food and, hence, the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks," said Dr Marsden.

“The results of our testing conclusively demonstrate that incorporation of SDC in poultry processing would be extremely effective in dramatically reducing salmonella contamination."

Common interventions include paracetic acid which is toxic and irritant to humans, ammonia-based products, chlorine dioxide and lactic acid.

SDC is rated as the lowest toxicity of antimicrobial products (IV) by the Environmental protection Agency (EPA).

The firm already has a product, Pure Hard Surface , on the market for food contact surfaces.

Poultry analysis

Lambert said the testing for poultry lasted about a month and the reasons for working with Dr Marsden included his expertise in the field and sophisticated lab with USDA-inspected pilot plant.

“He treated raw poultry with SDC and the testing was not able to detect any Salmonella on products. Different dilutions of SDC were used to get the intended impact,” he said.

“There is no effect on the taste, texture or appearance of the food and so far in all of the testing SDC has shown that bacteria cannot build up a resistance.

“We went for Salmonella first as it is the most visible issue for poultry but we are testing direct food applications on other pathogens and food products.

“We are optimistic about the potential of SDC and the market is worth around $1bn for meat, poultry and produce and we are aggressively going after our share of that market.”

Dr Marsden is also conducting similar testing for direct application of SDC in the processing of produce and meats.

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