martes, 30 de agosto de 2011

Fresh food for years with newly discovered natural preservative

"Bisin” obtained from Bifodobacterium longum a new food-preservative could lead to food products that resist spoilage for years.

Scientists have discovered a natural preservative capable of destroying a whole class of bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes and now food can be made to remain fresh and last for years. There would also be no need to refrigerate produce treated with the preservative, called, bisin, which is produced by harmless bacteria.

The researchers say foods like milk; sausages and sandwiches containing the agent could be on the shelves within three years. Ready meals, opened wine and fresh salad dressing could also be safely consumed long after they were bought, say scientists.

According to Dan Sullivan, a microbiologist who works at the university, “It seems to be much better than anything which has gone before. It doesn't compromise nutrient quality — we are not adding a chemical, we are adding a natural ingredient.” He and his team have patented the substance in the US. It is the first naturally occurring agent identified that attacks so-called Gram-negative bacteria such as E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria.

Bisin is related to nisin, which attacks gram-positive bacteria, and is used in the manufacture of processed cheeses and meats. Bisin is a naturally occurring lantibiotic (an anti-bacterial peptide), as such, it is generally recognized as safe and would not have to be pharmacologically tested.

It would however not be able to prevent fruit and vegetables from rotting, however, as they decompose in a different way. Further research is now ongoing, looking at exactly how good it is at stopping bacteria from growing.


 Aporte: Fernando Fuentes Pinochet

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