To me the word FRESH defines something still in its natural state. A freshly picked apple or an orange for example. A cup of tea or coffee freshly brewed. A loaf of bread straight out of the oven. A bucket of milk freshly squeezed from the teats of your cow or goat. The egg just laid by your chicken or duck – these are all what I would term as being FRESH.
On the other hand, I do not consider tinned or packaged foods as being fresh, neither are frozen foods!
But now they are going to redefine the term FRESH to include vegetables and fruits that have been chemically treated with a new substance to make them last longer – up to three years longer so they say. A chemical, prepared in a laboratory, which will artificially preserve foodstuffs which you and your children will then ingest. Of course they promise it is harmless! But so is mercury and thalidamide and aspartame!
There would also be no need to refrigerate produce treated with the preservative, called, bisin, which is produced by harmless bacteria.
They say that foods like milk, sausages and sandwiches containing the agent could be on the shelves within three years.
Ready meals, opened wine and fresh salad dressing could also be safely consumed long after they were bought, say scientists.
Researchers at Minnesota University in the US discovered the substance from a culture of a harmless bacteria, Bifodobacterium longum, commonly found in the human gut.
It is the first naturally occurring agent identified that attacks so-called gram-negative bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella and listeria.
Dan Sullivan, an Irish microbiologist who now works at the university, told The Sunday Times: “It seems to be much better than anything which has gone before. It doesn’t compromise nutrient quality — we are not adding a chemical, we are adding a natural ingredient.”
He and his team have patented the substance in the US.
Bisin is related to nisin, which attacks gram-positive bacteria, and is used in the manufacture of processed cheeses and meats. As such, it is generally recognised as safe and would not have to be pharmacologically tested.
It would not be able to prevent fruit and vegetables from rotting, however, as they decompose in a different way.
Further research is now ongoing, looking at exactly how good it is at stopping bacteria from growing.
Meanwhile, a British wholesaler has begun to make sandwiches with a two-week shelf life, by replacing all the oxygen in the plastic packaging with nitrogen and carbon dioxide.
Ray Boggiana, a food technologist who helped develop the range for Booker, which supplies convenience stores, said: “The science is not new. It’s all about using a protective atmosphere in the packaging.”
FRESH is about to be redefined people – if you truly want fresh foods may I suggest you grow your own or visit the local farmers market, where chemical toxins such as this will not be included in your food supply.