Following a scientific study conducted by the University of Nevada, Micreos announced that PhageGuard S, a new treatment for salmonella reduction in food products, was a more effective way to reduce the bacterium than chemical treatments, such as lactic acid or peracetic acid.
Speaking to GlobalMeatNews, Micreos business development manager Dirk de Meester said the firm was now working with US poultry processors to develop treatments for combating E.coli 0157 in post-harvest interventions, as well as campylobacter.
According to the federal agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, campylobacter causes an estimated 1.3 million illnesses every year in the US.
“We are in a subsidised research programme to develop a product against campylobacter,” de Meester told GlobalMeatNews. “We have two products currently on the markets, called PhageGuard Listex [to treat listeria] and PhageGuard S, and we are in a project for other pathogens. We will be testing some prototypes underway.
“Phage treatments can work for up to 24 hours, whereas chemical treatments such as peracetic acid, react very quickly and do not have the opportunity to have a profound kill as phage does.
“They are biological products,” de Meester added. “Instead of turning your poultry plant into a chemical plant, you can use treatments that are beneficial for both the product and the consumers.”
De Meester added that he could not give a precise timeframe when the the E.coli and campylobacter trials would be completed, but estimated that the E.coli treatment would be fully developed before the campylobacter treatment.
PhageGuard S has been fully approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is designed to kill up to 94% of salmonella in products without affecting properties such as taste or texture.
Micreos added that PhageGuard S addressed increasing consumer demand for more natural food processing aids and industry transparency.
“Although lactic acid and peracetic acid are widely deployed throughout the industry, consumer demand and health and safety concerns call for different solutions,” said Bert de Vegt, managing director at Micreos. “This report [the University of Nevada study] echoes the results we have observed in numerous commercial trials in poultry, fish and red meats and makes a convincing case for switching to Phage.”