Dutch company EBI Food Safety has opened a representative office in Beijing to meet demand in Asia for its natural anti-bacterial products, the company has pioneered food safety
technology based on bacteriophages, natural organisms that devour bacteria without affecting plant or animal cells, nor the taste or appearance of food.

Its recently developed product Listex P100, a culture of bacteriophages that act against the foodborne bacteria Listeria, can be used as a processing aid in the production of meat,
cheese, fish and other products.

After winning a Technology Innovation award from consultancy Frost & Sullivan for the product, EBI is now expecting to see strong demand for Listex in China as food standards in the
developing market continue to improve.

“The Food Importing nations’ adherence to strict food safety standards has propelled hygiene developments in China,” explained EBI Food Safety’s representative, Eric Law.

“Chinese producers are keen to adopt state of the art technologies such as LISTEX, because recalls on long haul logistic routes are prohibitively expensive”.

Around a quarter of all those infected by listeriosis die, giving it the highest fatality rate of all foodborne diseases and making recalls crucial if the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria is
found in food – typically meat, seafood and dairy products.

With growth of more than 20 per cent each year, the Chinese food market is rapidly becoming more sophisticated and needs to meet higher safety standards as consumers with more purchasing power
are increasingly informed about food safety.

EBI will also serve customers in the surrounding markets.

The potential of phages to treat infections and kill foodborne bacteria has been known for decades but EBI claims to be the first company to have developed a commercial product for food safety
applications. Its Listex P100 is the first bacteriophage product to gain GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) status from the US Food & Drug Administration.

by Dominique Patton