US army awards funding for antimicrobial agent
By Jane Byrne, 24-Nov-2008
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/US-army-awards-funding-for-antimicrobial-agent
phage-based technology aimed at eliminating or reducing contamination of red
meat and fresh produce by E. coli 0157:H7 has received a development
grant from the US
Army, according to its developer, Intralytix.
The company said the
funding for its food additive, ECP 100, is part of the Small Business
Innovation Research (SBIR) grants process awarded by the Army to support the
transition of products into the marketplace.
John Vazzana, chief executive officer of Intralytix,
said that the bacteriophage cocktail has been
tested effective against over 100 strains of E. coli 0157:H7, and
could be sprayed onto red meats, fruit and vegetables to inhibit
contamination by the pathogen.
ECP 100 is the second
phage-based food safety product developed by the company.
The biotechnology firm
recently announced that its product, LMP-102 received approval from the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive effective against Listeria
monocytogenes on ready-to-eat foods.
FoodProductionDaily.com at the time that the EPA registration enables food
manufacturers to use LMP-102 on food processing equipment as well as on
ready-to-eat food products.
He said that the antimicrobial
agent can be sprayed onto equipment and food produce such as coleslaw,
unpasteurized cheese, pasteurized milk, delicatessen and other types of meat
"As LMP-102 is an all natural product it will not corrode or damage
equipment nor alter a food product's general composition, taste, odour or
colour," said Vazzana.
Vazzana said that that LMP-102 is more costly than
some chemicals but that it is competitively priced in comparison to other
types of antimicrobial interventions.
He said that commercial sales of the phage-based product have recently
commenced in the US
but that Intralytix intends to expand into other
markets and is seeking regulatory approval in the EU.
According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 76
million people get sick, 300,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die in the US from foodborne illness annually.
Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli 0157:H7 are
two of the seven foodborne organisms causing these
problems, claims Intralytix.
E. coli meat test
Meanwhile a newly
developed E.coli tool from Canadian company Vacci-Test, FoodChek E.coli, uses magnetic nanotechnology and a
proprietary, inexpensive and easy-to-use magnetic reader that provides a very
sensitive, specific and quantitative test result,
claims the manufacturer.
The company said that
the E.coli tool has successfully completed
field trials in two meat processing plants: The field trials have shown
that it can accurately test for E.coli O157:H7 in
less than 6 hours.
Sandy MacPherson, chairman of the executive operating committee
of Vacci-Test, said that the E.coli
testing tool will have a major impact for both regulatory agencies and
meat-processors. Potential food contaminants such as E.coli
O157:H7 can now be tested on site and identified prior to the end of a
And Econiche, a new vaccine for cattle that aims to reduce
the risk of food and waterborne contamination from E. coli O157:H7 bacteria,
recently received approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Econiche can now be used by
Canadian cattle producers and veterinarians, according to Bioniche.
The development will
be of huge interest to meat processors as recalls linked to bacterial
contamination can cause illness, as well as being costly and brand damaging.
The company said its
vaccine works by preventing the E. coli O157:H7 organism from
attaching to the intestines of vaccinated cattle, thereby reducing their
reproduction within the animal, and reducing the amount of bacteria that can
be released through cattle manure in the environment.