APPROVAL OF BUFFERED VINEGAR AS FOOD PRESERVATIVE (E-267)

Last September, the European Commission authorised the use of buffered vinegar as a food additive by assigning it the number E-267 in the list of food additives. Through the publication of Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/2086 of 28 September 2023 amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and the Annex to Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 as regards the use of buffered vinegar as a preservative and acidity regulator.

Below you will find all the information on the inclusion of this food preservative in the list of food additives:

What food preservative is buffered vinegar?

Buffered vinegar is a liquid or powdered product which is prepared by adding buffers to vinegar, according to the above mentioned regulation.

The buffers used for its preparation are sodium/potassium hydroxide (E-524 to E-525) and sodium/potassium carbonate (E-500 to E-501). Buffered vinegar complies with the European standard EN 13188:2000 and has an exclusively agricultural origin (except wood/cellulose) by double fermentation, alcoholic and acetic. The main components are acetic acid and its salts.

Buffered vinegar has been used until now as a clean label alternative to other authorised preservatives or acidity correctors, in particular for the above mentioned acetic acid and its salts, whose numbers are: E-260-263. These food preservatives are mainly used for their power to protect against gram-negative microorganisms, as these types of bacteria are the most difficult to control. Among them we can find the worldwide known Salmonella or E.coli.

How is buffered vinegar included in the list of food preservatives?

Buffered vinegar is included in the list of food preservatives under the number E-267.

Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/2086 of 28 September 2023 amends Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and the Annex to Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 as regards the use of buffered vinegar as a preservative and acidity regulator.

Following the submission of an application to the Commission in March 2021, authorisation was requested for the use of buffered vinegar as a preservative and as an acidity regulator in a wide variety of food categories. These foods include: Meat preparations as defined in Regulation (EC) No 853/2004), potato gnocchi, fresh and pre-cooked pasta, canned fruit and vegetables, cottage cheese, fresh cheese, except products included in category 16.

Following a safety assessment of buffered vinegar as a food additive for the above mentioned uses, it was concluded that there is no safety concern for the use of buffered vinegar at the maximum use levels proposed in the standard. The corresponding study was carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

What natural food preservatives are available as an alternative to buffered vinegar?

Currently, the natural food preservatives that exist as an alternative to buffered vinegar (E-267) and that are clean label are plant extracts. However, the effectiveness of these food preservatives is not as high as that of buffered vinegar.

Buffered vinegar has so far been used as an effective alternative to other authorised preservatives or acidity regulators, in particular acetic acid and its salts (E 260-263). As it did not have an E-number assigned to it until now, it was declared as natural flavouring or buffered vinegar. These preservatives are known to be very effective against gram-negative bacteria, whose problem lies in the cell wall that covers them and makes them more resistant to preservatives. Nowadays, natural spice or vegetable extracts cannot match this efficacy.

What clean label food preservatives does Amerex offer?

At Amerex we are experts in clean label food preservatives and we have a wide range of products with different functionalities, from protective action against pathogens to elimination of chemical additives.

For this purpose, we have preservatives that combine different technologies. Our experience is based on the use of protective fermentation. This microbial technology is totally natural and clean label. Within this category we have products such as the Biamex range, which cover a wide range of action.

There are also products that combine protective fermentation with chemical additives. Food preservatives that include buffered vinegar include Safemix AV or Biamex Aroma Global. They are highly effective against bacteria such as E.coli or enterobacteria, and the low recommended dosage (between 0.1%-10%) favours a natural and homemade organoleptic.

Among the Amerex products that use the synergy between protective fermentation and chemical additive, the following also stands out: Fermitrat FS. This solution uses a combination of microorganism strains together with acetic acid technology to maximise food protection against Gram-negative bacteria such as enterobacteria in general, as well as pathogenic microorganisms such as Salmonella and E. coli, which are a common concern in the food industry due to the risks associated with food safety and product quality.

These strains of microorganisms act in synergy with additives to enhance their antimicrobial properties, without negatively altering the taste, aroma or texture of the food.

If you are looking to improve the quality of your food by ensuring optimum preservation and organoleptic properties, do not hesitate to contact us! We have different ranges of products to meet the specific needs of our customers.

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