A subsidiary of bakery and ingredient supplier CSM, Purac is best known for its lactate and lactic acid ingredients. The new ingredient, called PuraQ Safe RS50, is a cultured sugar, and thus a departure from this solid base established over 75 years.
The ingredient is intended to be used in products like ready-meals, as well as meal components such as soups, dips, sauces, fillings and pastas.
According to Ivo van der Linden, refrigeration makes for a favourable environment for pathogens to grow, and its advisable to take several different approaches to preservation. “As processing alone is not sufficient to control pathogens lke listeria monocytogenes, a preservative is required as well,” he said.
The company has spent about two years developing the PuraQ line, as it wanted to bring a new technology on line. Lactates and lactic acids are effective for food preservation, but van der Linden explained that they only have a certain microbial scope and for beverages, for example, it is not enough.
Purac recently unveiled its new logo and tag line Pure By Nature. As the food sector – and the consumers it serves – are placing a lot of emphasis on natural ingredients, PuraQ plays into this development, van der Linden said.
In the US PuraQ Safe RS50 can be labelled as ‘cultured sugar’; in Europe, labelling is less clear because of regulatory vagaries for ferments and different customers may label it differently. For instance, because of the savoury taste the ingredient brings, it could be labelled as a ‘natural flavouring’. Alternatively, it could be labelled by the organic acid from the fermentation process – that is, vinegar.
Purac expects to announce more additions to the PuraQ line-up in the near future, with ingredients specifically geared to fighting pathogens and spoilage in products including beverages, dips, deli products, gravies and meats.