Miracle preservative might keep food fresh for years

August 15th, 2011 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 15 (IANS) The discovery of a natural preservative - capable of eliminating bugs that ruin meat, fish, eggs and dairy products within days - promises to cut down spoilt food trashed each year, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota.

Called bisin, the compound could extend food’s shelf life by many years. The discovery is set to revolutionise the way people shop and cut down the millions of tonnes of waste food dumped every year.

Bisin occurs naturally in some types of harmless bacteria. It prevents the spread of deadly bugs like E-coli, salmonella and listeria.

Dan O’Sullivan, microbiologist who works at Minnesota University, made the discovery by accident while examining a culture of bacteria found in the human intestine.

“It seems to be much better than anything which has gone before,” he said. “It doesn’t compromise nutrient quality - we are not adding a chemical, we are adding a natural ingredient.”

The substance could extend the life of a variety of everyday foods which have strict use-by dates including seafood, cheese and canned goods, the Daily Mail reported.

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