Foodborne infections are a hot topic these days as lawmakers and others work to tackle an issue that sickens millions every year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given its "generally recognized as safe," or GRAS, rating to a new product that tackles Salmonella in an interesting way.
The product is Salmonelex which uses a phage - or targeted virus - that kills Salmonella. The product is produced by Micreos of The Netherlands and the company is planning industrial scale projects with U.S. poultry processors starting this month.
Mark Offerhaus, CEO, Micreos, commented: "Now that the FDA and USDA have given the green light we can offer food processors a new and natural solution against Salmonella, including antibiotic resistant strains. Salmonelex is seen as a very elegant solution as it targets only Salmonella and has no other effect on the treated food product, neither in taste, nor texture."
Micreos is the company behind Listex, which is an FDA-approved phage-based product that works to tackle Listeria. Salmonelex is the company's latest product, and Offerhaus notes that "given the prevalence of Salmonella in raw poultry, we expect poultry processors to be the first and largest users of Salmonelex."
The product can be sprayed topically, or added to chill tank water. The company anticipates it will soon be listed by the Organic Material Review Institute for use in organic foods, just as Listex is.
A bacteriophage - or phage - is a targeted virus that infects and replicates inside a bacteria. They are common in the biosphere and in the past few years researchers have been working on targeted phage tools for specific problems. Listex and now Salmonelex are two commercial products that use the technology. You can learn more about those products and the phage approach at Micreos.com.