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Vinegar-use method creates hurdles for listeria – developer

By Mark Astley, 24-Nov-2011

Related topics: Plant Safety & Equipment, Innovation

A distilled vinegar used to control foodborne pathogens in meats will provide more ‘hurdles’ against contaminants such as listeria, said its developer.

BactoCEASE NV Liquid is a buffered vinegar product that ensures enhanced product safety with minimum sensory impact, specifically in processed and ready-to-eat meats (RTE), said Kemin.

The development, which is currently available for customer testing, can be added to products during the brine, marinade or injection phase of processing.

The technology will help to extend shelf-life while maximising control against pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, a Kemin spokesperson told FoodQualityNews.com.

Multiple hurdles

“In Europe occurrence of Listeria has been steadily increasing and because of its high fatality rate, it is of great concern to food manufacturers,” said the Kemin spokesperson.

“The most effective approach to food safety in meat processing facilities is by putting multiple hurdles in place, which control the growth of pathogenic microorganisms. Low storage temperature, pH, water activity, and ingredients such as BactoCEASE NV can contribute to protecting food safety.”

As food safety becomes more of a priority in the industry, manufacturers are hungry for label-friendly alternatives that are backed by science, added the spokesperson.

Consumers demand labels that they can easily understand and ingredients they can recognize.

“As deli meat manufacturers are looking for solutions to improve their food safety program against Listeria contamination, Kemin scientists discovered a label friendly alternative to traditional synthetic preservatives,” said the spokesperson.

“BactoCEASE NV allows for low dosage rates and is a cost effective way for Italy’s growing deli meat market as well as Germany's sausage market to ensure meat safety.”

Europe listeria infections up

According to the company, listeria infection in Europe increased by 19% last year, resulting in 270 deaths.

Elsewhere, a listeria outbreak in the US, which has resulted in29 deaths and the infection of a further 139 people across 28 US states to-date, was traced back to processing facilities at a Colorado-based cantaloupe company – leading to increased scepticism of food safety in the US.

“Vinegar is well recognised in maintaining food safety and extending shelf-life of processed meat products,” said Kemin food technology director Frank D’Hondt.

“Consumers are paying more attention to the safety of the products they are purchasing. Because of this, meat manufacturers should be taking multiple steps to protect against foodborne pathogens,” he added.