Naturex says botanical blends beat artificial preservatives against meat microbes

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

Antimicrobial ingredients kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and mould in food and prevent spoilage. © iStock/Fleckus
Antimicrobial ingredients kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and mould in food and prevent spoilage. © iStock/Fleckus

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Naturex is launching two botanical-based preservatives that are more effective than artificial preservatives in fighting Listeria and Salmonella in processed meat products.

In-house tests comparing standard antimicrobials in fresh ground meat showed that Cleanatis M1 inhibited growth of Listeria bacteria more effectively than sodium lactate and sodium acetate while Cleanatis M2 was more effective than sodium lactate for controlling Salmonella.

Neither colour nor taste was impacted by the preservatives.

As for how the ingredients can be labelled, food preservation category manager Catherine Bayard said this would be decided on a case by case basis depending on the region.

In the US market, for example, Cleanatis M1 could be listed as rosemary extract and citrus extract, while Cleanatis M2 could be listed as rosemary extract, acerola cherry powder and vinegar powder.

Available in powder form in industrial quantities, the ingredients have a shelf life of one year.

Keep it clean 

The demand for clean label foods and simple, easy-to-understand ingredients has led to processed meat manufacturers searching out ingredients to replace the traditionally used nitrates, sodium lactate and sodium acetate. This has presented its own challenges as suppliers need to match food safety requirements with consumer expectations. 

Other natural antimicrobial solutions, such as essential oils, are often difficult to use because they impair product taste and, according to Bayard, there is no real solution to masking their smell. “Some essential oils, such as garlic, are very effective in terms of antimicrobial activity, but the performance is due to flavour compounds that have a very strong taste. This means they can only be used in certain recipes where this aromatic note is expected, which of course is not the case for all applications.”

For safety reasons, antimicrobials are a necessity, but the natural alternatives available until now have been inadequate. Cleanatis M1 and M2 offer meat producers a genuinely effective natural solutions to help prevent product spoilage, but without the drawbacks of existing natural antimicrobials, which often have a major impact on the organoleptic properties of the end-product.”

Naturex said it expects Europe and the US to be the biggest markets for these ingredients as both regions have extensive and mature meat markets as well as clean label-conscious consumers.

Naturex will be showcasing both ingredients at IFT in Las Vegas at the end of the month.

Earlier this year the firm announced it was looking for technical and commercial partners​ through its Ingenium Programme to help develop plant-based ingredients such as natural red, green and blue colours and preservatives.

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