Micocin was developed from a strain of naturally-occurring bacteria, Carnobacteria maltaromaticum, which produces a bacteriocin that is especially effective against Listeria monocytogenes. This food technology has been developed into a variety of products by CanBiocin, a company formed by a team from the University of Alberta in partnership with Griffith Laboratories.
"With new Canadian legislation expected to be introduced on April 1, designed to reduce the risk of Listeria in ready-to-eat foods in response to the Weatherill Report, we are excited to bring this groundbreaking ingredient to the marketplace," said David Smith, senior vice president of new technology at Griffith Laboratories. "We believe that Micocin can play a key role in helping our customers meet the challenge of the new rules."
Micocin, unlike any other Listeria preventative, is derived from a live, naturally occurring organism. The superfine powder is diluted in water and then precisely deposited onto foods during the packaging process, creating an environment in which Listeria cannot thrive – creating the most powerful and effective protection for foods and ultimately consumers.
The Micocin bacteria culture is already being used in consumer food products and it has no effect on the flavor, texture or appearance of the products to which it is introduced, so consumers can be protected without the addition of extra chemicals or technical-sounding ingredients being added to the food label.
The approval of Micocin is one example of how Health Canada has responded to the Weatherill Report's recommendation that additives that reduce the growth of pathogens like Listeria and have proven health and food safety benefits be evaluated more quickly. The Report of the Independent Investigator into the 2008 Listeria Outbreak. the Weatherill Report, was the result of a serious listeriosis outbreak in the summer of 2008 in ready-to-eat meat that caused the deaths of 23 Canadians and proposed 57 recommendations to help prevent future outbreaks.
The Canadian approval means customers in Canada as well as the US can begin using Micocin to help control Listeria in finished products. Micocin has been granted GRAS status, including GRAS Notice 305, in the US and has been approved by the US Department of Agriculture for addition to processed meat products. The product is also approved in Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia.