Gil Bakal, A&B Ingredients’ managing director, expects renewed in antimicrobial for use in processed meat and poultry products in light of the recent U.S. PIRG report claiming food recalls are on the rise and the food safety systems are just not working. The new report asserts that 48 million Americans are getting sick from food products that have been recalled. The economic costs are in the neighborhood of $77 million. A&B Ingredients is a leading developer, marketer and distributor of food ingredients.
According to a Nasima Hossain, public health advocate for U.S. PIRG, “2012 has already seen nearly twice as many illnesses due to recalls as 2011.”
Bakal points out that according to the Food and Drug Administration and the Food Safety Inspection Service, from January 2011 to September 2012 there were over 1,750 foodborne illnesses directly linked to recalls of food products from known pathogens like Listeria and Salmonella.
“For the most part, foodborne illnesses are the direct result of eating foods or drinking beverages that are contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or viruses. In most instances, contamination occurs in food processing,” says Bakal
He notes that more and more food processors are seeking assistance in combating known pathogens. Pointing to A&B Ingredients recently developed antimicrobial, interest in its CytoGuard LATM, Bakal notes it was specifically designed for use in processed meat and poultry products to combat foodborne illnesses during the processing stage. Based on Lauric Arginate, a derivate of Lauric Acid, L-Arginine and Ethanol -- all naturally occurring substances -- CytoGuard LA is effective at significantly reducing bacterial levels in a wide range of food products by altering the cell membranes of the microbes, thus preventing their growth.
Bakal states that the efficacy of CytoGuard LA is not affected by pH and has a wide spectrum of activity and functions on nearly all bacteria. “It is particularly effective against salmonella listeria, E. Coli, campylobacter, yeast, molds and lactobacillus, just to name a few,” he says. “CytoGuard LA is also effective for improving food safety and reducing bacteria levels of refrigerated food products, all types of prepared salads, as well as ready-to-eat fresh cuts of meat and poultry. Because it is used at low levels, it typically does not impact flavor, color, texture or pH of the product.”
Among the benefits of CytoGuard LA are:
- Stable up to one year
- Stable in pH ranges 3-9
- Stable to heating and freezing
- Concentrates in the water phase of products
- At typical usage levels it does not impart any off flavors to most food products
- It is a clear liquid and will not affect the appearance of food products
The preferred method of application of CytoGuard LA is through A&B Ingredients’ SLIC™ (Spayed Lethality in Container) technology. SLIC is a patent-pending process designed to improve the safety of ready to eat (RTE) processed meat products against foodborne contaminants. But unlike its conventional rivals, SLIC is based on introducing an antimicrobial into the vacuum packaging of the RTE meat products before, or as the product is inserted, using the force of the vacuum to spread the antimicrobial purge.
Bakal added that the active components in CytoGuard LA have been proven a safe and effective alternative to conventional processing treatments. He said, “Full toxicology studies and research have been conducted on the active component in CytoGuard LA and were found to be a non-toxic compound. The active compound in CytoGuard LA is metabolized by the body very rapidly and broken down into its natural building block components.”