Corbion Innovation Ups Listeria Protection for Dry Cured Fish in Modern Food Networks

New Verdad® Opti Powder N350 earns Food Tech Innovation Award at Fi Europe 2019 for bringing next-level preservation and pathogen control to the fish industry as an alternative to traditional salt curing.

Traditional dry salting, or dry curing, has been used to preserve fish for millenia, but in today’s longer, more complex value chains, such methods cannot provide adequate protection from human pathogens such as Listeria. Between 2014 and 2019, a prolonged multi-country outbreak of 22 listeriosis cases involving cold-smoked fish such as salmon or trout occurred in just five EU countries.

Now global food ingredient leader Corbion offers Verdad® Opti Powder N350, an ingredient solution designed to answer this market need by providing a more effective alternative to traditional salt curing. The product uses a patent-pending process to combine the flavor and functionality of salt with the proven antimicrobial properties of vinegar – a familiar, consumer-friendly, time-tested ingredient – delivering both superior Listeria inhibition and extended product shelf life compared to blends of salt and vinegar powder, or to the use of salt alone.

Corbion’s new offering makes an especially visible entry into the market, being recognized in front of a broad food industry audience with the Food Tech Innovation Award at Fi Europe 2019 in Paris.

“When pathogenic outbreaks happen, it erodes consumer confidence in foods they have trusted and enjoyed for years,” said Stephan Dobblestein, Senior Business Development Manager at Corbion. “That’s why it’s so important for processors to implement ingredient solutions that can stand up to the greater challenges and complexities of modern processing and distribution.”

Corbion’s new solution is applied to the fish surface in a manner similar to traditional salting, and does not create an additional processing step for manufacturers. Using a unique process, vinegar powder and salt are granulated by means of compacting technology to create a single product of uniform particle size that minimizes dusting during application. Without this process, differing particle sizes would result in the segregation of vinegar and salt granules, leading to irregular distribution of the components, as well as significant vinegar loss. That inconsistency reduces functionality and increases susceptibility to Listeria outgrowth.

The unique way in which Verdad Opti Powder N350 is processed, however, helps ensure that dosing and functionality is consistent throughout the fish. In addition, the homogeneous composition of the ingredient delivers a heightened effect in terms of antimicrobial efficacy.

“Having a label-friendly way to boost antimicrobial efficacy without the need for processing changes will make it easy for manufacturers to achieve their food safety goals despite the challenges posed by modern value chains,” Dobblestein said. “That means greater protection for both consumer health and safety, and for our customers’ brand.”