Phage tech draws a blank with many consumers - Micreos

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/Aunt_Spray
©iStock/Aunt_Spray

Related tags: Bacteria

Micreos has rebranded its phage products after feedback from a focus group.

Listex will be renamed PhageGuard Listex and Salmonelex will be known as PhageGuard S.

Phages are targeted against specific bacterial species so they can kill only unwanted pathogens like Listeria and Salmonella and leave beneficial bacteria intact.

Bert de Vegt, managing director at Micreos, said the focus group study told it a lot about consumer perceptions.

“We wanted to help our customers in the food business explain the reasons behind their use of phages to their customers. We decided the best way to do that would be to ask consumers about their perception of phages,” ​he said.

"We learned phage technology currently draws a blank with too many consumers. Their position is neutral but open, giving us the opportunity to tell our story and how organically produced phages use the power of nature and provide consumers with safer food."

Micreos said it was ‘very positive’ following an earlier European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion on its technology for Listeria monocytogenes in Ready to Eat (RTE) foods.

The European Commission received an application in 2011 from the company for approval of Listex P100 to remove L. monocytogenes surface contamination in raw fish.

EFSA did a scientific opinion in 2012 but the Commission said it had not taken legislative action, as the opinion left uncertainties concerning effectiveness in fishery products.

PhageGuard has no effect on taste, colour, texture or odour of the final product and is approved as a processing aid so does not require labelling.

They are applied on food via spray, mist or dip and can be used on food contact surfaces to prevent cross contamination or in processing environment to address hot spots and biofilms.

The firm added it plans to expand from its meat and poultry base in the US to other foods such as seafood, cheese and produce.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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