Frost & Sullivan report that EU manufacturers are using more natural antimicrobials, responding to tougher food regulations and consumers’ increasing demands for additive-free foods.
“The future of food antimicrobials lies in their ability to curb the growth of most spoilage organisms,” the report stated. “Food manufacturers still resort to the use of synthetic antimicrobials as an effective means to prolong the shelf life of their products.”
Especially given the continuing outbreaks of avian influenza and BSE, the use of different combinations of antimicrobials along with efficient delivery systems are regarded as the most reliable means to maintain food quality.
“However, consumer suspicions about products containing antimicrobials are reducing opportunities for further growth,” the report stated.
The European Food Safety Authority recently approved the use of four antimicrobials in chicken manufacturing plants, setting the stage for usage in meat processing plants.
“To promote consumer confidence and informed decision making, market participants will need educate end users about antimicrobial terminologies – and make them aware that scientific assessments are carried out before any antimicrobial is permitted for use.”