Danish scientists announce a breakthrough in the battle against the harmful Listeria bacterium, with the discovery of a common lactic acid bacterium that fights Listeria efficiently in foods. Until now producers have been forced to use additives or add extra salt to foodstuffs.
The new remedy is the result of a close co-operation between the Danish Meat Research Institute, the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University and Danish ingredients company Chr. Hansen.
While scientists from the research institute and the university originally discovered the effective lactic acid bacterium, Chr. Hansen has made large scale production of the bacterium possible. The ingredients company will also be responsible for the worldwide sales and marketing of the new bacterium.
Chief science officer Peter Olesen from Chr. Hansen said: "I am happy to say that this means less chemistry in the meat counters. The lactic acid bacterium we use is already present in the meat. All we really do is make sure there is more of the good germs and less of the unwanted ones."
Commenting on the project, Rie Sørensen, development manager at the Danish Meat Research Institute said: "It has been a great challenge for us to participate in the development of a new preservation technique."
Listeria can be responsible for a range of illnesses including diarrhoea and blood poisoning.