Fighting food waste with natural antimicrobials


Rising consumer demand for food that is natural, minimally processed, fresher and healthier means that microbial meat spoilage has re-emerged as an issue on the food industry’s innovation agenda. The topic has also raised numerous questions about food waste.

This is largely because the traditional approaches to preventing the growth of pathogenic bacteria – such as stringent processing conditions and the use of artificial preservatives – are no longer compatible with the clean label trend.

In particular, the presence of pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella in meat has become a subject of renewed focus. It is increasingly clear that new anti-Listeria and anti-Salmonella solutions are required – solutions that offer innovative & natural preservation strategies that are both effective and acceptable to consumers.

To address market demand for effective natural antimicrobials, Naturex has undertaken an antimicrobial research program that involves the investigation of extracts from different parts of edible plants. These plants come from an array of taxonomically and geographically distant species. In total, more than 200 extracts have been investigated for their antimicrobial activities against 14 microbial species. The program has extended over different research phases, including in vitro studies, studies with meat products, extract/activity characterization, and analysis and understanding of the mechanism of action.

Naturex has selected extracts that, when combined, deliver an improved performance in terms of inhibiting bacterial growth. The result is the development of two groundbreaking natural and taste-free antimicrobial ingredients designed to prevent food waste in meat products: Cleanatis™ M1 and M2. In tests, independent experts measured the performance of Cleanatis™ against that of standard antimicrobials in fresh ground meat. Cleanatis™ M1 inhibited growth of Listeria more effectively than classic antimicrobials (sodium lactate and sodium acetate). Cleanatis™ M2 was more effective than sodium lactate for controlling the growth of Salmonella.  Furthermore, Cleanatis™ M1 and M2 protected color and taste and had no detrimental impact on the food matrix. A natural and innovative way to fight food waste. 

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