If you haven’t yet heard of Bisin there is a good chance that you probably will within the next couple of years. Bisin is the latest craze in the world of food-borne illness prevention. It is the first natural preservative found to kill gram-negative bacteria, and it may just be worth all the hype, especially in light of all the recent E.coli outbreaks that have occurred this summer.
Bisin can supposedly prevent harmful bacteria such as E. coli, listeria, and salmonella from growing on a wide variety of foods. These types of food include meats, processed cheeses, egg and dairy products, canned foods, seafood, salad dressing, fermented beverages, and many other foods. By using Bisin, these foods may have extended shelf-lives and ultimately reduce food waste. This is a good thing - so is the fact that bisin appears to be allergen free, non-toxic, and doesn’t appear to be one of those substances that germs build up resistance to.
Discovered by accident in a culture of Bifidobacterium longum, this lantibiotic originating from the human intestinal tract has great potential. Yet despite all the positive attributes associated with Bisin, its discovery remains recent. Although this may be a big step towards keeping our food safe, it’s hard to know exactly what, if any, negative consequences could exist from wide-spread use of this preservative. Only time and additional research can tell.
In the mean time, Bisin does fit into the FDA’s GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) category, and that is a good sign. For it to be used in other capacities, however, more approval may be required of this novel discovery.
August 19th, 2011