In January, the Council of Ministers approved a draft Law on the Prevention of Food Losses and Waste. The law makes it compulsory for all actors in the food chain to have a loss and waste prevention plan, prioritising human consumption through food donation or redistribution.
The aim is to achieve a 50% reduction in food waste per capita at retail and consumer level, and a 20% reduction in food losses along the production and supply chains by 2030. This has triggered a very deep movement and awareness among retailers and manufacturers on how to avoid and manage their surplus, which corresponds to 1-2% of their annual turnover.
What can food and ingredient manufacturers do to reduce waste and encourage better use? The importance of food preservation and safety is particularly relevant here, with natural preservatives being the future of the world’s food supply. Food with a longer shelf life and which is microbiologically safe will help to avoid food waste.
What are natural food preservatives?
Natural food preservatives are substances derived from natural sources, such as plants, herbs, spices or microorganisms, which are used to prolong the shelf life of food.
These preservatives are a more sustainable and healthier alternative to synthetic additives, as they do not contain artificial chemicals or ingredients that are harmful to health. Regulation is becoming increasingly stringent in terms of the dosage and use of such chemical additives. In France, for example, legislation was recently amended to reduce the application rates of nitrites in some foods. Natural preservatives are therefore the future of food preservation.
What are some examples of natural food preservatives?
There are numerous examples of natural preservatives used in the food industry.
Some of them are well known and include rosemary extract, vinegar, essential oils, vitamin E (tocopherol), among others. However, we already see among them one example that has recently been included as a food additive, listed in the legislation as E-267, such as fermented vinegar.
Microorganisms are another source of natural preservatives, and thanks to new technologies such as biotechnology, the use of microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria and thanks to protective fermentation, we can obtain new preservation strategies.
These preservatives not only help to preserve the freshness and quality of food, but can also provide additional health benefits.
What is the relationship between protective fermentation and natural preservation?
Protective fermentation is a natural process in which beneficial microorganisms, such as lactic acid bacteria or yeasts, are used to ferment foods and create a hostile environment for the growth of undesirable microorganisms, such as pathogenic bacteria. This process not only helps preserve food, but can also improve its taste, texture and nutritional value.
Bio-based natural preservatives often take advantage of the principles of protective fermentation to provide natural and effective food preservation.
Where to buy natural food preservatives?
Natural food preservatives are increasingly available on the market. It is important to look for reliable suppliers that offer high quality, certified organic products if possible. At Amerex, we have specialised in biotechnology-based natural preservatives for over 40 years and offer a wide range of products designed to meet the needs of the food industry.
Thanks to our natural preservatives, you can extend the shelf life of your food while maintaining optimum organoleptic and safety properties and avoiding food waste. Some of our best-selling products are part of the Biamex range, where we have specialists against listeria, for example, or more general products such as Biamex SP, for the complete preservation of food.
In short, natural food preservatives are an excellent option for those looking for a healthier and more sustainable alternative to synthetic additives. Harnessing the principles of protective fermentation and using biotechnology-based natural preservatives can help ensure food safety and quality, while promoting sustainability and overall wellbeing. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to know more!
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