Canadian listeria outbreak prompts new meat culture

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Coffee Color Sausage Listeria

A starter culture to tackle listeria and salmonella in salami and fermented sausage products was developed as a result of a major listeria meat product contamination in Canada, explained developer Chr. Hansen.

Speaking to this morning, John Jensen, marketing director, meat cultures, at the Danish food and beverage ingredients group, said its new Safepro B-LC-007 was tailored to meet the specific demands of a leading Italian-style salami manufacturer in Canada following a serious tainted meat incident linked to the brand.

“The manufacturer was seeking a starter culture that would prevent Listeria growth and we knew we had some of the tools in hand at our starter lab. It was just a matter of blending the right strains and adapting the culture to the brand owner’s production process,”​ continued Jensen.

He said Chr. Hansen technicians also took into account the quality standards in the Canadian market. “Our culture can reduce the risk of oxidation, which ensures that the colour of the salami or fermented sausage product remains stable throughout its shelf-life,”​ added Jensen.

The culture, said the supplier, encompasses two types of Pediococcus​, a Lactobacillus​, Staphylococci ​and Debarymyces hansenii, ​which​makes it suitable for a wide temperature range and also means it suppresses any undesired wild/spoilage flora.

The FIE show in Paris will represent the European market release of the starter meat culture, said Jensen.

Natural colours

Chr. Hansen is also set to unveil its new natural colour range - I-Colours - for instant powder beverages, products more common in markets such as Asia or South America than Europe due to the ability of these ambient drink formulations to withstand heat.

Ji Hoong Too, product manager, natural colours division at the Danish company, told this publication that the natural colour range was 24 months in development with the R&D process involving market mapping, shade selection, and evaluation of granular metrics for each market.

Instant powder beverages are common in Latin America and Asian countries, where they are diluted in water at home or on the go and are generally seen as a low-cost product.

In the main, they currently incorporate synthetic colours but we have noticed an increasing demand for natural ingredients even in these ‘cheaper’ beverages and industry has been reacting accordingly, requesting suppliers to deliver on colours in this regard.

However, these formats provide challenges in relation to natural colour inclusion. R&D had to ensure exactitude of particle size and the roughness of the colours had to hit a level that would allow attachment to the sugar molecules,” ​reported the product manager.

And Hoong Too claims the I-colours range dissolves smoothly and allows easy blending for shade variation, with the colours available in yellow for lemon flavours, orange for orange flavours, and red and magenta for strawberry grape flavours respectively.

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