August 29, 2006
Japan recently approved use of natamycin--also known as pimaricin--for use in the country's food products. Natamycin, a naturally occurring antimicrobial agent used in meat and cheese products, is an antimycotic, meaning that it inhibits the growth of mold and yeast. Both the United States and South America have approved its use; the European Union has approved use of the antimicrobial for over 35 years.
Because natamycin is a naturally occurring antimicrobial agent, it has the capability to aid the design of a wider range of clean-label products. FDA permits use of natamycin in select foods, including sliced cheeses, as dictated by each product's standard of identity. Studies have shown that the antimicrobial agent has no toxic effects, even at high doses, in animal studies
In order to improve food safety--as well as meet increased clean-label demand--a wider range of products, including dairy, baked goods, beverages and meats, have begun to include antimicrobial ingredients.
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