What is Natamycin?
Natamycin has been used for decades in the food industry as a hurdle to fungal outgrowth in dairy products and other foods. It can be applied in a variety of ways: as an aqueous suspension sprayed on the product or into which the product is dipped, or in powdered form sprinkled on or mixed into the product.
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Natamycin is commonly used in products such as cream cheeses, cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, shredded cheeses, cheese slices, and packaged salad mixes. As a food additive, it has E number E235.
History of Natamycin:
Natamycin has a long history of safe use as a natural mold inhibitor in cheese, meat, and later, other food products. It helps to prevent spoilage and to protect consumers from potentially harmful mycotoxins that have been linked to a variety of adverse health effects. . In 1967 Natamycin was approved worldwide as a food additive to be applied on the surface of (specific) cheese(s), preventing the growth of unwanted molds and yeasts.
Production/Preparation of Natamycin
It is produced during fermentation by bacteria, Streptomyces natalensis. This type of bacteria is commonly found in soil.
Uses of Natamycin in food industry:
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- Natamycin is used in baking process.
- It is a natural anti-fungal agent.
- It is also added in cheese to prevent it from deterioration.
- It is used in food products as it is a preservative.
Advantages of use of Natamycin in Food Products
- It is applied over surface to prevent mould growth.
- It protects crops from spoiling
FDA Approval on the Use of Natamycin in Food Products
Natamycin has been tested and approved as a food preservative suitable for human consumption by, amongst others, the European Safety Authority (EFSA), World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA).