There is a principle known as Competitive Exclusion:
Two species competing for the same resources cannot coexist with a constant population size! If one species has even the slightest advantage over the other, the one with the advantage will dominate in the long run.
We have taken advantage of the principle of competitive exclusion to establish a defined, controlled microflora on products:
Protection from pathogens
Exclusion of spoilage agents
Extended shelf life
We are looking for THAT ONE good strain that has the advantage over all the other bacteria and can successfully prevail over the others.
Good bacteria are defined as any that...
- have no effect on the sensory properties of the product, i.e. smell, taste and colour.
- are not harmful to humans (they meet QPS criteria)
- can grow at low temperatures, such as in the refrigerator
Finding the hero
Nature is always so creative. For this reason, we were most likely to find a strain like this in its natural habitat.
In this case, in cooked ham, where it is found as a part of the natural microflora.
Cooked ham is considered a habitat for bacteria. Both good bacteria and pathogenic bacteria that cause spoiling live there, competing for the available nutrients they need in order to grow.
The hunt begins
01 The plan
Since that one perfect germ is part of the natural microflora of cooked ham, we searched for products that smelled and tasted good after the ´best before´ date had elapsed, in which no slime or gas had developed inside the packaging, but which still contained a very high numer of micro-organisms. We took a closer look at the products that met all these criteria, examining the micro-organisms of these products. Many of them were discarded immediately because we knew they were not one of the good germs.
02 Narrowing the ranks
A total of 50 lactid acid bacteria strains were left over.
More information had to be gathered about these still completely unknown germs. In addition to testing for safety (do they meet the EFSA´s QPS criteria and are they safe for humans at high concentrations?), the effects of the individual strains on the sensory characteristics of the products were studied.
Just 5 germs remained standing.
03 The finalists
The selected 5 were thoroughly examined again: a metagenomic analysis followed.
The 5 finalists were added to cooked ham - their natural habitat - in quantities that were high enough (CFU 1x105/g) to give them an advantage in access to the available nutrient resources. The finalists had a period of 14 days of competition at a pleasant 4–7 °C to demonstrate their dominant performance.
They did this by reproducing and, as a result, driving out other bacteria (i.e., through competitive exclusion).
The race started out neck and neck, but one finalist managed to gain a growing lead over its competitors, clearly winning the battle for the cooked ham with decisive dominance of ca. 98–99 % (ca. 5x109/g).
tests in 5 European countries
of the tests showed organoleptic differences or had a germ density that was too low.
of the tests met the criteria and had no conspicuous organoleptic issues.
germs that dominated among the bacterial flora after the best ´before date´ had passed were isolated.
strains were then chosen and comprehensively tested for suitability as a protective culture.
strains were thoroughly examined again with metagenomic analysis.
And the winner is:
The latest benchmark for
Bioprotection 2.0 for cooked ham & bacon
What makes it so unique?
Bio Protection 2.0
…for cooked ham & bacon
…is considered a food ingredient
…dominated by competitive inhibition
Protection against listeria
Stable pH value
No color change
What can the new one?
Proven not to form bacteriocins
It dominates the microflora
...in the product through competitive exclusion
Protection against listeria
Prompts a log reduction in listeria in cooked ham & bacon
Not an additive
It is not regarded as an additive: It can be listed as “lactic acid or a protective culture”
Experts for competent advice