• New natural preservatives, Natalactin Plus and Nisilactin Plus, from Australian startup, ITC.
    New natural preservatives, Natalactin Plus and Nisilactin Plus, from Australian startup, ITC.

Australian startup, Ingredient Trading Company (ITC), has launched a natural food preservative range that claims to boost the shelf-life of dairy, bakery and both fresh and cooked meat products.

The range, which was jointly developed by US foot technologist at Georgetown University and Chinese food scientists and pharmaceutical companies, can also help food manufacturers cater to consumer demand for all-natural products both here and overseas, according to ITC co-founder Steve Lewis.

The products, Natalactin Plus and Nisilactin Plus, are both are classed as natural and have demonstrated the ability to replace chemical preservatives. They also have a neutral flavour, and less dependence on pH for efficacy, Lewis says.

Nisilactin Plus is an antimicrobial agent which prevents the growth of gram positive pathogens. The active ingredient in Nisilactin is the byproduct that occurs during the growth of the Lacctococus Lactis bacteria that was first discovered in the 1930s.

“Through a very fine centrifugal process, that by-product is isolated to make Nisilactin Plus. Our point of difference is that we use a natural protein base to grow the ingredient which makes the product more effective and very valuable when used on proteins,” Lewis says.

Due to its naturally selective spectrum of activity, it is also employed as a selective agent in microbiological media for the isolation of gram-negative bacteria, yeast, and moulds - this includes e. Coli and Listeria, and Salmonella.

ITC's other new product, Natalactin Plus, is similar Nisilactin Plus, although the byproduct is a secondary product to streptomyces.

“It is a highly effective food preservative working against surface moulds and fungi. Outside of the food industry it is commonly used in antibioticantifungal eye drops as the active ingredient," Lewis says.

“Like the Nisilactin product, our innovation to both is that ours use a natural protein-based environment in production.”

ITC is also looking at applications for both Nisilactin Plus and Natalactin in food polymer packaging.

“Food packaging and wraps that actively work to protect the product, rather than simply keeping them less impacted by the environment could have an impact on spoilage,” Lewis says.

The products have been tested and approved in more than 40 countries, including in Australian laboratories, according ITC, and Lewis says the company is currently working with bakeries, seafood producers, dessert makers and dairy products companies to incorporate it into their products.

ITC is also planning to launch some follow up products later this year, Lewis says.

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