CANADA: Edmonton researchers use harmless bacteria to control listeriosis
Posted: October 24th, 2009 - 3:49pm
Source: Global News
EDMONTON -- Lynn McMullen and colleague Michael Stiles have been studying lactic-acid bacteria and have found it's harmless to humans but fatal to the listeriosis bacteria, a discovery that could make the food supply safer.
"These organisms grow in a number of different food products," McMullen said Friday. "They're very similar to the organisms that are used to make cheese and yogurt."
She said food processors could add the lactic-acid bacteria to products and preclude the use of chemical agents.
"We've been using this peptide to kill listerium in processed meats. . . . Usually, listeria gets onto the food product and processed meat after it's been cooked and before it's been packaged. So we're looking at using that opportunity to put in the culture that will control the growth of the listeria."
She said it's rewarding to see that their research has a practical application to improve human health.
The researchers are now awaiting Health Canada approval, which could take several months. They will receive the awards next month in Calgary.