DES MOINES, Iowa –The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service added liquid sodium propionate to a list of approved antimicrobials for use in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.

Effective May 6, RTE meat and poultry manufacturers will be able to use liquid sodium propionate products without an in-plant waiver.

“This is a game-changer for manufacturers of ready-to-eat meat and poultry products and consumers who value the quality and safety of those foods,” said Dr. Chris Nelson, president and CEO of Kemin Industries, which specializes in liquid propionic acid-based technology. “It’s also very gratifying to Kemin researchers and scientists who dedicate themselves to providing breakthroughs and ingredients that improve the lives of others.”

Kemin Industries first petitioned FSIS in 2010 to get liquid sodium propionate listed as an acceptable antimicrobial agent for use in RTE meat and poultry products. The Final Rule was approved on March 7, 2013, and liquid sodium propionate will be added to the next FSIS Directive 7120.1 revision, according to the company.

“Preservatives are necessary to keep RTE meat and poultry products safe from foodborne pathogens, however, consumers do not want to see large amounts in their products,” said Betsy Blades, director of marketing for the food technologies division of Kemin. “Being able to minimize the rates at which the preservatives are applied and maintain product safety is important to meeting consumer demand.”