A new antibacterial infused polymer offers promise for reducing the risk of bacterial contamination during the production of processed ready to eat foods.

“Effectiveness of SymbiCoat Antibacterial Coating to Reduce Listeria Monocytogenes” was among the topics discussed last week in Winnipeg as part of Prairie Livestock Expo.

Dr. Claudia Narvaez Bravo, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba, explains the product, developed by Exigence Technologies, is an antimicrobial polymer.

It can be used to coat or cover surfaces like food contact surfaces, for example stainless steel which is quite common in the food processing environment. Once we coat that surface and you activate the surface with chlorine, which is a 150 PPM solution, which is water an chlorine, then you activate that surface. Let’s say that you have Listeria Monocytogenes in that environment that coating will kill it and it will prevent that bacteria from transferring from that surface to the food. The coating basically was developed to minimize the risk of cross contamination in that processing environment, mainly in ready to eat products when you have a killing step like, cooking and then you have to package. Normally that’s when contamination happens. This is an alternative to have more control in the environment to kill this kind of pathogen.

~ Dr. Claudia Narvaez Bravo, University of Manitoba

Dr. Narvaez Bravo says the product is still undergoing regulatory approval but independent lab scale testing conducted by the University of Manitoba has shown it to be very effective.