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Natural Compounds May Reduce Need For Chemicals In Protecting Food From Pathogens

November 12, 2010: 02:20 PM EST

U.S. researchers experimenting with natural extracts of green tea and grape seed and bacteriocins such as nisin have successfully protected chicken and turkey hot dogs from pathogen contamination. The scientists believe food processing companies might be able to replace chemicals as a means of protecting against contamination. Food processors currently use chemicals and heat treatments to preserve food and lower the risk of bacterial food poisoning outbreaks and food spoilage. But the trend these days is toward less processing, fewer additives, and more natural ingredients. According to one researcher, “Natural extracts can accomplish the same goal without compromising taste or food safety.” A blend of 25 percent natural plant extracts and 75 percent chemical antimicrobials inhibited the growth of Listeria monocytogenes on the hot dogs, scientists said.

Navam Hettiarachchy, "Natural Extracts Can Cut Chemical Additives in Food Processing", News release, University of Arkansas, Food Safety Consortium, November 12, 2010, © UA
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