A research partnership in Quebec, Canada has completed the development of a “completely natural” bacteria to protect salmon against listeria monocytogenes, the fear of which has prompted several canned-salmon food recalls over the past several weeks.
Quebec salmon smoker, Fumoir Grizzly, the University of Laval and applied research center, Merinov, said they’ve developed the M35 bacteriocin and a way to use it. Bac M35, the name of the discovery, will be integrated into Grizzly’s production chain over the coming weeks.
Bac M35 is being called a major discovery for its potential use in food preservation around the world, but it’s a direct answer to salmon recalls in Canada that have impacted salmon caviar producers and salmon lunch choices from coast to coast.
“No equivalent is currently known anywhere in the world,” a Fumoir Grizzly statement said, adding that international marketing has begun with patents pending in the United States and Europe. The company said Chili, Alaska and Norway were target markets.
“M35 bacteriocin is an alternative to traditional microbiological barriers, mainly chemical additives and salt,” a statement said. The bacterial culture is said to be similar to probiotics and is “safe for human health and is sourced from a bioingredient naturally present in marine environments”.
“Bac M35 protects fish for 21 days at 4 degrees Celsius without affecting taste or nutritional content (it’s) natural, thermostable (remains effective even in varying temperatures) and is not harmful to the environment.”
A salmon-smoker, Grizzly spends a fortune —15% of its budget — on R&D. Developing Bac M35 cost the Saint Augustin firm $300,000, with $300,000 coming from provincial and federal governments.
Let us remember that every year in Canada, Listeria infects 178 people, causing an average 150 hospitalizations and 35 deaths, with direct and collateral costs of 240 M$ CAN.
Fumoir Grizzly is among the five largest fish smokehouses in Canada and employs over 65 people “during peak season” at its 16,500 square feet of plant.