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Alquermold Natural for the control of microbial contamination in animal products for human consumption

Alquermold Natural for the control of microbial contamination in animal products for human consumption

Alquermold Natural for the control of microbial contamination in animal products for human consumption

Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Clostridium, the most concerning microorganisms

Introduction: Importance of food safety

The food industry is paying a lot of attention to avoid the presence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms in contaminated food, especially in animal products, which represent a threat for food safety.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), food-borne diseases affect almost 1 in 10 people each year and 420,000 of the cases are fatal. Most of these infections are related to ingestion of poultry meat and eggs contaminated with microorganisms such as Salmonella or Campylobacter, among others.

Strict controls are conducted by the authorities to evaluate the presence of these microorganisms in farms and to classify them according to the results. Therefore, the application of control strategies in the farms is gaining importance.

Main microbial contaminants of meat and eggs

The most concerning microorganisms due to their high prevalence in animal products, as well as because of their capacity to cause zoonosis, are Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Clostridium.

Salmonella is one of the four main causes of diarrheal diseases worldwide, according to the WHO. It is frequently found in the digestive tract of infected chickens and some serotypes are zoonotic and can produce severe food-borne diseases in humans. Products that contain raw eggs, such as mayonnaise, are an important source of salmonellosis, therefore the importance of reducing the presence of this bacterium in chickens and laying hens.

Campylobacter is a bacterium that is frequently found in the digestive tract of poultry. Despite not causing severe issues in broilers, it is one of the main agents causing food-borne diseases in the world. It is responsible for 1.5 million cases every year only in the USA (Services, n.d.), of which 20 to 30% are related to eating contaminated poultry meat (Thames & Sukumaran, 2020).

Other bacteria that are important for food safety and poultry welfare are E. coli and Clostridium. The control of these microorganisms in the digestive tract helps to reduce colibacillosis and necrotic enteritis outbreaks in the farms and has a positive effect on performance and gut health. Besides, it helps to decrease their presence in meat and eggs.

Alquermold Natural as a tool to improve food safety

Many of the microorganisms present in animal products come from the digestive tract (Thames & Sukumaran, 2020) and their presence in the intestines does not always correlate with sickness in animals.

The reduction of pathogen loads in the intestines prior to slaughter is a key element to decrease the contamination of the carcass and slaughter facilities. It is also important to control the balance of the digestive flora to reduce the presence of microorganisms in the eggs. Eggs get contaminated when they contact fresh feces during oviposition. Besides, in severe disbalances of the digestive flora, some bacteria can reach the organism and the ovaries, infecting the eggs (Gantois et al., 2009).

In terms of ideal food safety, strategies to maintain the balance of the digestive flora should be applied during all the productive stages.

 

low microbial presence in the intestines

Biovet’s R&D department developed a natural solution to reduce pathogen loads in the farms and, this way, decrease the risk of contaminations that can lead to public health problems.

The solution is Alquermold Natural, a product that combines cimenol ring and citric acid. The former, whose application is patented by Biovet, S.A., is a plant-based molecule capable of destabilizing the membrane of pathogenic microorganisms from inside the cell. It acts synergistically with citric acid, which creates pores in microbial membranes to facilitate the entrance of the cimenol ring to the cell.

The efficacy of these molecules has been tested in multiple trials conducted according to the scientific method, whether in the field or in the lab, against the main microorganisms that can contaminate meat and eggs. These trials prove that Alquermold Natural is highly effective against Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and Clostridium.

Results in culture plates with different concentrations of Alquermold Natural against Salmonella

Image 1. Results in culture plates with different concentrations of Alquermold Natural against Salmonella. Trial conducted at the University Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona.

Results in culture plates with different concentrations of Alquermold Natural (AN) against Salmonella

Image 2. Results in culture plates with different concentrations of Alquermold Natural (AN) against Salmonella. Trial conducted at the University Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona.

In addition, a novel field trial showed that Alquermold Natural can reduce by more than 90% the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in eggs, feces and intestinal content (chart 1).

. Alquermold Natural reduces the presence of Campylobacter, E. coli and C. perfringens

Chart 1. Alquermold Natural reduces the presence of Campylobacter, E. coli and C. perfringens. Trial conducted in the Universidad Cientifica del Sur in Peru.

Also, the efficacy of the product was evaluated against other compounds used in the industry to control pathogens, such as organic acids and formaldehyde. Alquermold Natural reduced by more than 50% the percent of dirty eggs compared to organic acids, and by 80% compared to formaldehyde.

The percentage of dirty eggs was the lowest in the group with Alquermold Natural

Chart 2. The percentage of dirty eggs was the lowest in the group with Alquermold Natural, which obtained more than a 50% reduction in comparison to other products.

Conclusions

Microbial contamination of animal products for human consumption supposes a risk for food safety and public health. One way to prevent it is to reduce the presence of microorganisms such as Salmonella, E. coli or Campylobacter in the farms.

Biovet S.A. has developed a unique technology that combines cimenol ring with citric acid, called Alquermold Natural. These active principles act synergistically and are highly effective against the mentioned microorganisms (they reduce bacterial loads by more than 90%).

Alquermold Natural in the feed or water of poultry farms reduces the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in the gut. This way, it helps to prevent carcass contamination and reduces the percent of dirty eggs by more than 80%.

It is highly recommended to use this product because, apart from its higher efficacy compared to similar products, it is completely safe for the animals, does not create resistance nor requires a withdrawal period.

Bibliography

Antunes, P., Mourão, J., Campos, J., & Peixe, L. (2016). Salmonellosis: The role of poultry meat. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 22(2), 110–121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmi.2015.12.004

Gantois, I., Ducatelle, R., Pasmans, F., Haesebrouck, F., Gast, R., Humphrey, T. J., & Van Immerseel, F. (2009). Mechanisms of egg contamination by Salmonella Enteritidis: Review article. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 33(4), 718–738. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6976.2008.00161.x

Services, U. S. D. of H. & H. (n.d.). CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/campylobacter/index.html

Thames, H. T., & Sukumaran, A. T. (2020). A review of salmonella and campylobacter in broiler meat: Emerging challenges and food safety measures. Foods, 9(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9060776

USDA. (2020). USDA report.

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