Keeping food fresh and safe

There is an increasing demand from the consumer for fresher, more natural and less processed foods and yet at the same time there is an increased expectation that food that is produced by a manufacturer is safe. This creates a dilemma for food manufacturers; how to remove preservatives and reduced cooking times without compromising safety.

As is often the case, adversity breeds invention and many researchers are investigating new ways to produce safe food that meets these demands of the public. The range of approaches is quite varied, from the new application of existing preservatives and the use of natural bacterial predators to the development of physical techniques such as pulsed electric fields and cold plasma.

The recent Society for General Microbiology meeting at Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK, provided an overview of some of these new technologies, and placed them in the context of the industry requirements.

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- Society for General Microbiology is based in Spencers Wood, Reading, Berkshire, UK

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