In the world of food safety, the emergence of emerging pathogens poses constant challenges. Among them, Campylobacter has emerged as a disturbing player in the food safety equation.

 As we explore the complexities of this microorganism and its impact on a variety of foods, we will discover how Amerex, a leader in biotechnology-based natural food preservatives, is at the forefront of finding innovative solutions.

Join us in this blog to understand and address the challenge presented by Campylobacter in our food chain.

Pathogenic microorganisms in food. What do we know about Campylobacter?

In the constant quest to ensure food safety, we are faced with a number of challenges, one of which is the emergence of new emerging pathogens in food.

The Campylobacter bacterium has recently captured the attention of the scientific community. Campylobacter belongs to the family Campylobacteraceae. Species of this genus are Gram-negative, comma-shaped, motile bacilli and have proven to be a growing risk in the food chain due to the food poisoning they cause.

Combating Gram-negative bacteria is one of the main challenges for the food industry, as there are not many food additives that are really effective against these pathogens due to the protection afforded by their cell wall. To a lesser extent, we can even find natural food preservatives that are clean-label and really effective in keeping this type of microorganisms at bay.

Which foods are contaminated by the emerging pathogen Campylobacter?

The prevalence of pathogenic microorganisms in food, such as Campylobacter, poses a serious threat to public health as it can cause campylobacteriosis (a common cause of intestinal infection). These bacteria are also one of the many causes of traveller’s diarrhoea or food poisoning.

These bacteria can contaminate a wide range of foods, from poultry to dairy products to raw vegetables, similar to contamination by the world-renowned Salmonella. People are almost always infected by eating contaminated food.

Emerging pathogens

Understanding how these emerging pathogens affect our food chain is essential to implement effective safety measures, both at the production level in the food industry and good food handling practices by consumers at home.

What are the most common types of food additives against Campylobacter?

In the quest to ensure food safety, it is crucial to know which are the most common and effective types of food additives against Gram-negative pathogens such as Campylobacter.

The group of Gram-negative bacteria are among the most difficult to combat in the food industry, including pathogens such as the aforementioned Salmonella and Campylobacter, or E. coli within the group of enterobacteria. All of them can cause diseases of particular relevance to humans as a result of consuming food that has developed them.

The most common types of food additives against these bacteria is the use of acids, such as acetic acid. Acetic acid is widely used in the industry and has been assigned the E number E-260, and also all its salts such as sodium diacetate, the latter being the additive with number E-262ii. Even with this specific activity, acetic acid often requires synergies with other preservatives of different origins to control its occurrence.

Are there natural food preservatives against Gram-negative bacteria?

Amerex, through its use of biotechnology, has developed natural food preservatives that not only extend the shelf life of food, but also act as effective barriers against these unwanted microorganisms.

The combination of technologies in the food industry has become an innovative and effective strategy to improve product safety and quality. At Amerex we have products based on the synergy of acetic acid and protective fermentation, such as Fermitrat Fs, which is a prime example of this highly effective combination.

However, there are other fully clean-label solutions that allow acetic acid to be removed from the equation, resulting in natural food preservatives. Thanks to the use of protective fermentation, the mixture of different strains allows us to obtain products that tackle these types of pathogens, such as Safemix AV.

In summary, the challenge of dealing with emerging food pathogens requires a combination of awareness, research and innovative solutions. Amerex is committed to providing natural food preservatives that not only meet these challenges, but also raise food safety standards in the industry.

Our team of experts is at your disposal to advise you on customised solutions for your specific needs in the food industry to improve the safety, quality and durability of your food products.

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Refrigerated sauces are a delicious addition to a wide variety of dishes, from salads to fast foods and snacks. These foods offer great convenience and taste, but also pose challenges in terms of shelf life and food safety due to the pathogenic microorganisms that thrive in them.

In this blog, we will explore the types of refrigerated sauces along with the microbiological problems they face and the most common pathogenic microorganisms, potassium sorbate as a food preservative (it is one of the most commonly used chemical food preservatives) and finally, a clean label alternative to these chemical food preservatives currently on the market.

What types of refrigerated sauces are there?

There are many types of refrigerated sauces that can be found in a wide variety of flavours and textures. Some common examples include mayonnaise sauce, mustard sauce, guacamole and many others. These sauces are popular because of their freshness and taste, but that same freshness also makes them susceptible to the growth of microorganisms.

We could classify the types of sauces according to the processes they have undergone:

  • Fresh
  • HPP
  • Pasteurised

Each of them suffers from a specific shelf-life problem, the freshest sauces spoil in a short time and are more vulnerable to pathogenic microorganisms, while the most treated products (HPP or pasteurised) lose their organoleptic freshness over time, which is why different food preservatives are used.

What are the microbiological problems with refrigerated sauces?

Refrigerated sauces, which include classics such as mayonnaise and guacamole sauce, face similar microbiological problems. These sauces often contain fresh ingredients such as avocado, tomato or onion that may be contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms such as Salmonella or E. coli. Cross-contamination is a real risk during the handling and preparation of these ingredients, increasing the risk of foodborne illness. In addition, the high moisture and water content in these sauces provides a favourable environment for the growth of moulds and yeasts.

This can lead to problems such as the proliferation of harmful microorganisms, affecting both food safety and product quality, necessitating the use of food preservatives such as potassium sorbate by manufacturers to ensure product safety.

What are the microbiological problems with guacamole sauce?

In particular, guacamole sauce presents a specific set of challenges.

– Discolouration and browning: Guacamole is prone to discolouration and browning due to oxidation of the avocado components. While this is not a microbiological problem in the food safety sense, it can negatively affect the quality and appearance of the product.

Mould and bacterial growth: The high humidity and water content in guacamole sauce provides an environment conducive to bacterial and mould growth. Microorganisms such as Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli can proliferate if the sauce is not kept at the proper temperature and stored for long periods.

Texture and Consistency: Unwanted microorganisms can affect the texture and consistency of guacamole sauce, causing it to become runny or take on an unpleasant texture. This can lead to consumer dissatisfaction.

What chemical preservatives are used in refrigerated sauces?

To combat these microbiological problems, the industry has traditionally relied on chemical food preservatives. These chemical preservatives can include potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and other ingredients that extend the shelf life of refrigerated sauces. While these food preservatives have been effective, some consumers are concerned about their impact on health and prefer to avoid chemical additives.

These food preservatives can be identified on food labels by the following numbers:

  • E202 Potassium sorbate – is a derivative of sorbic acid (E200).
  • E211 Sodium benzoate – is obtained industrially by reaction of sodium hydroxide (E254) and benzoic acid (E210).

What Clean Label alternatives to potassium sorbate are available for refrigerated sauces?

There are clean label alternatives to potassium sorbate to combat these microbiological problems in sauces.

Amerex offers a natural alternative to potassium sorbate called Biamex YM or Biamex Aroma Global, a biotechnology-based natural preservative. This product is particularly effective in the fight against moulds and yeasts, two of the main microbiological challenges in refrigerated sauces and in guacamole sauce in particular. Biamex is not only a safe and effective option, but also meets the demands of consumers concerned about the absence of chemical preservatives in food. This makes it a truly clean label alternative also for manufacturers looking to remove E numbers such as potassium sorbate from their food labels, while maintaining food safety.

In summary, both refrigerated sauces and guacamole sauce are delicious and very common in gastronomy, but their microbiological problems can affect both food safety and quality. Instead of resorting to chemical food preservatives, Amerex’s alternative to potassium sorbate, Biamex YM or Biamex Aroma Global, offers a natural and effective clean label option to combat these problems, while ensuring the satisfaction of both consumers and food producers.

If you want to know more, contact us!

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Alimentaria Foodtech 2023 is officially underway! Don’t miss out on the recent developments in food safety

From today, Tuesday 26th September, the Amerex sales team will be present with its own stand at the Alimentaria Foodtech trade fair which will take place in Barcelona until Friday 29th September.

Alimentaria Foodtech is a fair of ingredients, machinery and technology, which has participants from all over the world and where the most recent developments in the industry are presented. This space is a meeting point for the most relevant companies in the sector.

The fair will be held at Fira Barcelona, in Hall 2. Visiting hours for each day are:

  • Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28 September from 9.30am to 6.30pm
  • Friday 29 September from 9.30am to 4pm.

Alimentaria map

You can find us at stand A 264, where we will be presenting this year’s fresh updates, result of the research projects we are part of.

You will also be able to find one of our latest products in the Ingrenova space, where the most innovative Intermediate Food Products (IFP) will be presented.

Here are some photos of the stand so you can find us better!

If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Telephone: +34 91 845 42 14

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Codex Alimentarius in food production

Food production must be carried out according to strict food safety and hygiene standards to prevent any type of contamination from reaching the final consumer.

For this reason, in 1963 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) created the Codex Alimentarius Commission, whose objective was to ensure the safety and quality of food.

Below, we take a closer look at this set of standards.

What is the Codex Alimentarius or “Food Code”?

The Codex Alimentarius is the grouping of standards, codes and recommendations approved by the largest international food standards body: the Codex Alimentarius Commission (annexed to the FAO and WHO).

This document was created to ensure the proper handling of food by all members of the food industry and to assure consumers of the quality and safety of the products they consume.

What is the Codex Alimentarius for?

The Codex Alimentarius serves to protect the integrity of consumers by promoting a series of practices within the food sector. This list of standards seeks to guide manufacturers and to promote a series of common requirements within the international food trade, harmonising in some way the infinite number of legal differences that exist in each country and seeking an international food legislation.

How many standards does the Codex Alimentarius contain?

The Codex contains more than 200 standards written in different languages and covering the following areas:

  • Food labelling.
  • The use of additives.
  • The use of contaminants.
  • Food hygiene.

As mentioned above, these standards are not mandatory but a recommendation for the governments of each country to decide whether or not to introduce them into their legislation.

What are the regulations in food production?

The regulation of food production depends on each country, but several countries have used this code as a basis for introducing their own food legislation. The Codex Alimentarius is an international reference that helps to harmonise standards related to food safety and comprises 188 member states.

Among the functions of the Codex Alimentarius Commission is also to organise a multitude of meetings between the various international experts in the sector to raise awareness and ensure compliance with food safety standards. It is a meeting point not only for manufacturers and governments, but also for scientists, consumer groups and food authorities, as its standards include evaluations of food medicines, information on additives and limits on pesticides.

What is the relationship between Codex Alimentarius and food labelling?

One of the issues addressed by the Codex Alimentarius is the information that food labelling should contain to ensure proper understanding by consumers. The general principle (and one that should be self-evident) is that no false or misleading information should be provided on a food label. This also includes any health claims that are intended to be made about the product and which mislead the consumer.

According to these rules, the following information must be compulsory on food labels to ensure that the information is clear and specific:

  • Name of the specific food.
  • Treatment to which it has been subjected.
  • List of ingredients in descending order of content.
  • Allergenic or intolerant ingredients (eggs, soya or crustaceans).
  • Food additives.
  • Net content and drained weight by volume and weight.
  • Name and address of the manufacturer.
  • Country of origin.
  • Batch identification.
  • Storage instructions.
  • Use by date.
  • Instructions for use, if any.

What does clean labelling or clean label mean today?

Clean labelling (like the Food Codex) aims to ensure the truthfulness of the information on food labels. This trend, which has been at the forefront of the industry for some time now, is well known at Amerex.

Like the standards mentioned above, Amerex is characterised by transparency with our customers when it comes to our products. With more than 40 years of history in the industry, our goal has been to research and design tailor-made products for all types of food. As a result, 95% of our products are clean label.

Food safety and quality do not have to be at odds with a clean label. At Amerex we have the Biamex or Safemix range, whose purpose is to ensure the protection of the food by being able to remove/decrease the use of additives; or the Fermitrat range of maturation starters for sausages.

If you want to know more about our clean label, organic and vegan ingredients, do not hesitate to contact us!

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Hello and welcome once again to the Amerex Blog! Lately we are hearing about more and more alerts related to the food safety of numerous pathogens… Particularly over the past year, a food alert due to the presence of Listeria in sausages from Italy.

Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogenic bacteria that can cause serious illness in humans. In light of this situation, it is essential to be informed about the risks associated with Listeria in products such as fresh sausages and to take the necessary measures to ensure food safety. Therefore, in this blog post we want to share with you how to explore the precautions to be taken into account when consuming sausages and how to protect ourselves from the appearance of Listeria.

How often can we find Listeria-contaminated sausages in the market?

The presence of Listeria in sausages is a major concern in terms of food safety. According to the RASSF (Rapid Alert System Feed and Food), there have already been around 60 food alerts reported this past year due to the presence of Listeria, all of which are serious or potentially of serious risk. Although the cases of contamination may be different, and this is a bacteria that can be present in a wide variety of foods, it is crucial to understand the importance of ensuring the safety of the sausages we consume, as they are far from being free from this risk.

Indeed, it is an issue to be taken into account and it is essential to know the preventive measures and proper procedures to minimize the likelihood of finding Listeria-contaminated sausages in the market. By following the right best practices, storage and cooking practices, we can significantly reduce the risks and enjoy safe and delicious sausages.

What could happen to us if we eat Listeria-contaminated sausages?

The consumption of sausages contaminated with Listeria can have serious consequences for our health. As mentioned above, Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogenic bacteria that can cause the disease known as listeriosis. If we eat contaminated sausages, there is a risk of developing symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In the most severe cases, especially in people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and the elderly, infection with this pathogen can lead to serious complications and even death.

Person holding the hand of another one lying in a hospital bed

Therefore, we must be aware of the risks associated with the appearance of Listeria in any type of food and take all the necessary measures to avoid its consumption when there are food alerts or suspicions of contamination. Food safety and consumer health must always be a priority.

What are the indicators that sausages are spoiled due to contamination with Listeria or other bacterial species?

It is important to be aware of certain indicators that could point out that the sausages are spoiled and contaminated with Listeria or other bacteria. Some of these signs to watch for are the following:

  • Expiration date: First of all, always check the expiration date printed on the sausage package. If the date has passed or is close, it is possible that the sausages are in poor condition and may present an increased risk of bacterial contamination.
  • Bad smell: Pay attention to the smell of the sausages. If you detect an unpleasant, acidic or ammonia-like odour, this could indicate that the sausages are spoiled and could be contaminated with bacteria such as Listeria.
  • Visual appearance: Look closely at the sausages. If you notice changes in colour, such as unusual spots or discoloration, or if they have mould, this is a clear indicator that the sausages are in poor condition and should be thrown away.
  • Abnormal texture: Fresh sausages should have a firm, elastic texture. If the sausages feel soft, slimy or crumbly to the touch, be alert, this could be a sign of bacterial contamination.

It is important to remember that these indicators are only a guide and not a firm confirmation of the presence of Listeria or other bacteria. However, if there is any doubt of contamination, it is always recommended not to eat the sausages in order to avoid possible health risks.

What actions can we take in our homes to avoid the proliferation of Listeria or other pathogens?

It is key in order to protect ourselves from pathogen and bacterial contamination that we follow some of the most basic preventive practices in our own homes. Some actions to take are as follows:

  • Proper storage: Store sausages in the refrigerator at a safe temperature, generally below 4°C. Make sure they are properly wrapped or in sealed containers to avoid cross-contamination with other foods.
  • Hygienic handling: Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling sausages. This will help prevent the transfer of bacteria to the food.
  • Avoid cross-contamination: Keep raw sausages separated from other foods, especially those that will be consumed without additional cooking, such as salads or sauces. Use different utensils and cutting boards for raw and cooked foods.
  • Appropriate cooking: Be sure to cook sausages thoroughly, until they reach a safe internal temperature of at least 75°C. Using a cooking thermometer can be helpful to check the internal temperature.
  • Prompt consumption: Eat the sausages within their recommended expiration date. Avoid leaving them out of the refrigerator for extended periods of time and do not let them be kept at room temperature for too long.

These preventive actions are essential to reduce the risk of contamination by Listeria or other pathogens in the sausages we consume at home. By following these practices, we minimize the risks to the health of both ourselves and our family and can enjoy safer meals.

How is the Food Industry concerned about preventing Listeria contamination and working to avoid its appearance in the different foods we consume?

The Food Industry plays a key role in preventing Listeria contamination and works actively to avoid its presence in different foods, including sausages. The industry implements measures to guarantee food safety such as good hygienic practices at all stages of manufacturing, quality controls and risk analysis to identify possible sources of contamination, development of traceability programs, investment in advanced processing technology (e.g. pasteurization systems in the case of sausages) and compliance with regulations and standards established by health authorities and control bodies.

Food handlers with fresh sausages

In addition to the use of food additives or preservatives that inhibit the growth of these bacteria, which is used by manufacturers in all food sectors. This is demonstrated by the numerous companies that ask us about natural alternatives within the Amerex portfolio to address this problem. For example, our range of natural preservatives includes a clean label blend, Biamex Export, which is a specialist against Listeria. In addition to other products that have direct action against pathogenic microorganisms, helping to keep food in better condition and last longer.

We hope that this Blog entry has made you more aware of these food alerts and the care in food handling. Remember that food safety is everyone’s responsibility, and it is essential to follow the recommendations of health authorities and be informed about current food alerts.

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Hello everyone and welcome back! Once again, we want to share with you Amerex’s most recent progress of which we are enormously proud. Thanks to our R&D department dynamic and restless character regarding new developments, we have been awarded the Innovative SME stamp.

So, what is an Innovative SME? It is a designation granted by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation that acknowledges the enterprises’ innovative character and achievements in this field. It has been possible for us to achieve this recognition because of our current active involvement in R&D. Some of the R&D projects we are currently working on are the European Up4Health Project of the Horizon 2020 financing program, as well as the Cervera Project.

What does it really mean to have this stamp? All the efforts we have made during these years to stay at the forefront of the food industry and to help our clients improve their processes and products with differentiating technology finally receive public recognition. 

Furthermore, this stamp is now one more reason for Amerex’s ambition to continue to grow. The development of new ideas and new products is one of the foundation stones on which we base our activity. In conclusion, we would like you to keep counting on us for many more years as we will always work to be a reliable and innovative enterprise.  

We are very proud and happy to have obtained this certification. We will continue working to keep you updated!

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BBI, Bio-based Industries Consortium, and H2020 logos related to the Up4Health innovation project

This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 888003. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Bio Based Industries Consortium”

Hello everyone and welcome once again to our Blog. Today we are thrilled to announce our participation in a European project within the Horizon 2020 financing program! We would like to share the main highlights of this innovative, stimulating venture which is sure to give you inspiration and feasible ideas to apply in your own business…

Essentially, the European Up4Health project is based on the utilization of biomass generated in various processes in diverse industries such as wineries, oil mills and nut processing plants. The functional ingredients derived from these have multiple applications in various other industries like food, nutraceutical and cosmetics.

Within the scope of Up4health, besides making use of these residual, bioactive compound rich raw materials from the food sector, it also optimizes the value chain of productive industries by achieving the goal of ‘zero waste’-thus making the project highly sustainable, as well as innovative.

The aforementioned functional ingredients are the following: natural fruit water rich in polyphenols, dietary fiber rich in polyphenols, natural oily fruit extracts and prebiotic xylooligosaccharides. The applications in which these bioactive compounds can be used range from functional foods, such as meat products, healthy snack bars, soft foods for the elderly, drinkable solutions in the form of gel, olive oil, natural drinks, yogurt, to nutraceuticals supplements and even cosmetics.

Over the next 48 months, we will collaborate with nine organizations from five different countries to carry out this project successfully.

So, what specific role does Amerex play in Up4health? We will be conducting trials using certain polyphenols extracted from olive and grape fiber flour, with the aim of delaying the oxidative processes and thus increasing the shelf-life of the final products in food industry.

Ultimately, the main objectives are going to be: on one hand, maintaining the colour, avoiding oxidation and thus prolonging the shelf-life of the product. On the other hand, enhancing the food safety of the product which may be affected by the growth of spoilage microorganisms.

And how do we set about this task? In the initial phase, the necessary requirements for the functional ingredients such as sensory profile, microbiological safety and physical properties will be determined in order to fulfill the desired outcome, in line with the end consumer’s needs.

The role of Amerex alongside other partnering companies is to make sure that these requirements are well defined, as this will be the main determinant for the success of the project. We will execute this, headed by the UNIVERSITY OF VIGO, who will make certain that the appropriate biomass requirements and objectives are met owing to this collaboration.

We would like to greatly express our gratitude to ISANATUR SPAIN S.L. for trusting us with this amazing opportunity, and also to CONTACTICA S.L., for making this project possible.

We are eager to keep you updated in this matter, and hope it to be very soon. In the meantime…

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¡Hello again to everyone and welcome to our Blog! Today, we are proud to introduce to you our 2020 catalogue, which encapsulates all the research findings and developments achieved by our team till date: the 2020 AMEREX CATALOGUE.

Amerex has over 40 years of experience in the food industry, and we believe in helping producers and consumers alike, which is why we are sharing our knowledge to enable you in making better choices.  Our philosophy has always revolved around the prioritization of R&D sector. For us, innovation goes hand in hand with our trials and analysis, and our conclusions have been brought about by many years of extensive research based on this philosophy.

So, here is the result of all this work! A document where you can find solutions to many problems that affect companies in the food industry, strictly adhering to our slogan: “A solution for every challenge”. We want to give you a little “sneak peak” of the content…

Here’s an introduction to all our main trials conducted using our preservatives and starters, on the meat industry.

In this picture is described the growth of Lactobacilli in fresh sausages with and without the addition of a Safemix preservative. Values in the control sample shows an exponential growth from day 1 to day 7, reaching around day 6 a value of 6 on the log scale (ten raised to the power of six), above the Lactobacilli shelf-life limit. However, in two samples on which Safemix has been incorporated, there exists a progressive lowering of Lactobacilli to a logarithmic scale below 4 (ten raised to the power of four), around day 5 in the case of Safemix 1, and from day 1 to day 7 of shelf-life in the case of Safemix 2
Image 1. Trials on fresh sausage with our range of preservatives – Safemix
In this picture two burgers can be seen: a control with three additives incorporated (citrate, ascorbate and diacetate), and another one on which diacetate has been replaced by the Safemix preservative. This last one has a better color, which proves that one of the additives can be substituted with a natural solution and achieve better results.
Image 2. Trials on burgers with our range of preservatives – Safemix
This picture shows a comparison between a dried sausage (chorizo) ​​manufactured with Fermitrat-S1, one of our starters, and the same chorizo ​​without a starter. Differences in texture can be observed, the dried sausage ​​with the starter shows a much solid texture produced by water retention and a lower pH. On the other hand, the control dried sausage ​​presents a typical wrinkle, because of the no retention of water by the meat proteins as the result of no acidification.
Imagen 3. Differences between dried sausages with/without a starter
In this picture you can see a loin injected with a very special starter from our Fermitrat range, based on micrococci that do not takes part on an acidification proccess. This starter only produce a color similar to the one provided by nitrification, which remains stable over time (in the picture it is showed 15 days after injecting)
Image 4. Pork loin injected with a Fermitrat starter

In addition to this, we have laid eyes on other prominent sectors of the food industry in the past few years. We believe that our range of preservatives will be of great use owing to their effectiveness. In the coming years, we aspire to develop and boost our potential to a greater extent, but for now, here is a brief glimpse into some of our trials.

This picture shows a comparison between spanish omelettes exposed to elevated temperature conditions. One of them has a preservative from the Biamex range, while the other one doesn't. It can be seen much more gas generated in spanish omelette without the preservative, as well as a much less consistent texture
Image 5. Trials in spanish omelettes with our range of preservatives – Biamex
In this picture the evolution of total plate count can be seen in samples of filling sauce, with and without Biamex, one of our preservatives, added. A considerable difference is observed, the sample with the protector is mantained around ten raised to the power of two, while the control sample reaches a logarithmic scale of ten raised to the power of six
Image 6. Trials in a filling sauce with our range of preservatives – Biamex

And there is so much more! Following are over 30 pages of visual documents to backup and display our research, would you like to take a look?


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Welcome again to Amerex’s Blog!

We have already entered February and it seems like a very busy month, on which we keep receiving many updates from the food industry. Some of them are very inspiring to begin a new season of our wonderful Blog. Let’s check it out!

Year 2020 welcomed us with a new law set up by the USA that forbids vegan and vegetarian companies to label ‘meat’, in the full sense of the word, to products that seem like it. This law, which is called The Real MEAT Act (The Real Marketing Edible Artificials Thruthfully Act of 2019), establishes the definitions for ‘beef’ and ‘beef product’ and require the imitation products to contain the word ‘imitation’ immediately before or after the name. These terms are found to ensure that there is no misunderstanding for the consumer, so they know that the food they eat does not contain meat at all.

The Real MEAT law defines "beef" or "beef product" as any food containing edible meat tissue from domesticated Bos indicus or Bos taurus cattle

The law defines with the term ‘imitation meat food product’ as any product manufactured to appear as a meat food product or any food product, which approximates the aesthetic qualities (primarily texture, flavour and appearance) and/or chemical characteristics, but does not contain any meat, meat food product, or meat by-product ingredients. In addition, it defines the terms ‘imitation meat food product’ and ‘imitation meat by-product’, so that it leaves no room for doubt for the vegetable product companies.

This law has been brought up as a result of the general discontent regarding this matter for a long time. Not only regarding meat products and its by-products, but also with the so-called vegetable ‘milk’.

According to the trends we have been exploring for the last several years for alternatives to the traditional products, vegetable beverages have increased and become highly important. From the beginning, the preferred term was vegetable ‘milks’: soya milk, almond milk, coconut milk…

This matter brought about a very interesting discussion as in the meat industry, that these beverages cannot nutritionally replace original cow’s milk, nor does their components or its nutritional content. Therefore, one cannot substitute the other under any circumstances.

What does the law state? According to the current legislation (Council Regulation (EC) nº 1234/2007), ‘The term ‘milk’ means exclusively the normal mammary secretion obtained from one or more milkings without either addition thereto or extraction therefrom’. However, this shall not apply ‘to the designation of products the exact nature of which is clear from traditional usage and/or when the designations are clearly used to describe a characteristic quality of the product’. The last statement refers to a list of products that appear in the Commission Decision of 20 December 2010, on which almond milk is found to be the only vegetable beverage that can be labelled under this term.

We have already explained the law statements according to the nomenclature of meat products. Nevertheless, what are the consequences of it? These products do not apply to the same food safety and labelling standards as beef. Even though they are named after it, it is true that the ingredient’s legislation is not under control and therefore any additive may be added in their formulations. In other words, companies take advantage of very good marketing, making it look like meat, and what’s more, rules for additives are completely different. Besides, it is important to mention the analytics and inspections carried out in the meat industry, for example with Listeria or other pathogenic microorganisms, which are very strict. These are not so well defined in this type of products.

Then, what should we do? For now, this is the situation and that means for many companies to search for solutions for enhancing shelf-life and safety, such as the ones we provide at Amerex. Our technology is based on microorganisms that fit any nomenclatures and legislations, for every final product. And why are we so certain? Because we know that manufacturers have healthy foods on the market with consumer-oriented labels and Amerex as their provider of natural safety solutions.

Would you like to know more? Contact us and we will help you with everything you need.

See you soon and we will keep you updated!

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Dairy industry

Hello everyone and welcome again to our Amerex Blog!

As we have mentioned in our previous Blog posts, Listeria monocytogenes, a common bacteria found in the food industry as well as the disease it causes -listeriosis-, are back in the spotlight. As per the information gathered in the last few months, even though it is related to the meat industry, it poses a threat to many other sectors as well.

Therefore, the objective of this Blog post is to ensure that everyone is conscious of another battlefield when it comes to Listeria: dairy industry. Specifically, and as a case study, we would like to explain a very interesting situation that happened at Amerex. Let’s have a look!

Feta cheese is a Greek origin cheese made mainly from goat milk. It is considered a “ready-to-eat meal” by the AESAN as it doesn’t require any cooking or processing to reduce or eliminate the presence of Listeria monocytogenes to bring it within the acceptable range. This is the main reason behind the prevalence of this type of bacteria in this cheese. Furthermore, according to integrated mathematical models in ComBase, an online tool created by a collaboration between Tasmania University and the USDA-ARS for quantitative food microbiology, feta cheese is classified as a food where the growth of Listeria monocytogenes is possible due to its pH, aW and lactic-acid concentration.

Feta cheese, a food where the growth of Listeria monocytogenes is possible

Nevertheless, numerous research papers published in major scientific journals proved that feta cheese, in particular, prevents the development of this family of bacteria and, in addition, leads to a progressive inactivation of microorganisms. These researches fool the industry into believing that feta cheese meets the necessary food safety requirements of food safety for Listeria monocytogenes for its entire shelf-life, however, it is important to bear in mind the significance of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), such as: contamination level of raw materials, specific processing conditions, etc… All of these are included in the barriers we discussed in the previous post from our Blog.

In fact, these HACCP guidelines contradict the information in the aforementioned scientific journals. The moment any raw material, mainly pasteurized milk, is contaminated during fermentation, it provides ideal conditions for the proliferation of the infectious agent within the first two days. Considering this growth, under certain circumstances, some strains of Listeria monocytogenes can survive a standard pasteurization process; this could be a cause of alarm for human health safety.

It should be noted that the low temperature and low pH conditions during storage provide an ideal environment for the stabilization of the bacteria in high concentrations. In addition, even in temperatures starting 1.7 ºC and above, it cannot be guaranteed that the cheese is free of pathogens. In addition, the regulation parameters specify that, in order to prove that Listeria monocytogenes does not grow in a product, it would have to meet one of the following requirements: pH≤4.4, or aW≤0.92, or a combination of both parameters: pH≤5.0 and aW≤0.94.

Since feta cheese has a pH of 4.4-4.6 and aW of 0.94-0.95, it barely fits within these parameters and it is likely to exceed in some batches. Therefore, taking into account the temperature mentioned above, we could be facing potential threats.

Following this explanation and the previous post from our blog, it is key to try to manufacture a 100% safe food item. It is clear that there is no single formula for achieving this level of absolute safety. However, the more barriers between the pathogen and our product, the better.

This is a problem that affects not only meat and dairy industry, but also other sectors of the food industry that are normally considered exempt for this threat.

There is always something to be done for improving safety. We invite you to share your own concerns, whatever industry you belong to, and we will provide personalized assistance to boost your confidence regarding the launch of products.

Here at Amerex we design our preservatives with specialized technology and are constantly developing our know-how, to achieve one of our main objectives: building a set of barriers that are unbreakable for any harmful microorganism.

Once again… Here we are!

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