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Collaborating in the Combat Against Pathogens

In a major collaboration project between University of Copenhagen and the Danish ingredient company Novonesis, the Danish collaborative culture has come up with innovative solutions to fight against pathogens in meat products.

Pathogens is a major issue in modern day meat production is the existence of pathogens that can serve as a risk to human health and often survive in meat under conditions where other bacteria do not.

A testament to private-public collaboration

Sometimes the best strategy for eliminating pathogenic bacteria is to fight them with other bacteria. Called bioprotection, it’s a strategy that Danish ingredient company Novonesis has refined over the past two decades, specifically to protect against harmful contaminants in bacon and fermented meats.

Research at the University of Copenhagen was the initial inspiration. In collaboration with the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) and the meat industry, a study found antimicrobial activity in some of the lactic acid bacteria already naturally present in meat products.

Lactic acid bacteria cultures both inhibit food spoilage and protect against harmful contaminants

The findings led to the identification and development of specific lactic acid bacteria for effective elimination for Listeria monocytogenes. As a result, Novonesis now offers an extensive portfolio of lactic acid bacteria cultures that both inhibit food spoilage and protect against harmful contaminants. Used in bacon or salami, for example, they improve colour, flavour and texture development at the same time – completely naturally and without need of other additives.

Becoming world-class by working together

Denmark’s rise as a leader in bioprotection is partly due to the collaborating environment of Danish food production, as seen in the collaboration between Novonesis and leading Danish universities. Today Denmark is a leader in biosolutions within food production with many of the world’s leading ingredient companies.