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How do you define natural?

There is no legal definition of "natural" in relation to food worldwide. Of course there is some sort of general/public understanding on the term of "natural", meaning that nothing artificial or synthetic has been included in, or has been added to, a food, that would not normally be expected to be in the food.

One area of particular interest is for products obtained by fermentation processes. While industrial fermentation per se cannot be defined as natural, many food products made via a fermentation process carry a designation of natural on their label. For example, beer, wine, bread, vinegar, cheese and yogurts are traditional foods made by fermentation.

Some ingredients or additives, that are naturally present in fermented foods, are nowadays obtained by fermentation processes. Those processes are strictly similar to the ones used to produce traditional fermented foods and can be described in many ways as traditional, natural and sometimes even organic.

Can products using only Care4U™ protective solutions be labelled all-natural?

Legislation will differ from one country to another. The advice of regulatory counsel is recommended prior making any specific product claims or labeling.

Are Care4U™ products suitable to use in organic products?

Some Care4U™ products are recognized as being organic by nature such as lactic acid bacteria used to produce yogurt, cream, cheese, fermented dairy and meat products. This is the case for Holdbac™ and Texel® cultures.

Fermentates or fermented sugars like MicroGard® are certified organic by a USDA accredited company Quality Assurance International (QAI) Guardian™ Natural Extracts, obtained by food grade solvent extraction without residues and without any further processing steps, are natural flavorings and, under some conditions, can be certified organic. Food Additives such as Nisaplin™ and Natamax™ antimicrobials are not certified organic due to their process conditions.

Are Care4U™ products suitable to use in kosher products?

Yes. Most Care4U™ products have a Kosher status. For instance, GUARDIAN™ Rosemary Extract and Green Tea Extract, Nisaplin™, and Natamax™ are Kosher Pareve.

Do Care4U™ products such as plant extracts or cultures have also any health benefits?

Concerning GUARDIAN™ Green Tea Extract, the levels needed to show a nutritional or health benefit are much higher than the current recommended maximum usage level for food protection by DuPont.

Concerning HOLDBAC™ protective cultures, they have been selected for their inhibiting properties and, although containing strains which are known to be used for the production of probiotics, DuPont has not documented specifically these strains for that purpose.

Is there a natural silver bullet that can guarantee the food safety and protect the shelf life of a given food product?

No. The use of strict GMP and GHP together with a fully developed HACCP program is a pre-requisite to limit the risk of microbial infection in food stuff to an acceptable minimum level.

Nevertheless the risk of contamination with food borne pathogens cannot be prevented completely. Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate intrinsic hurdles to control or prevent the growth of pathogens or spoilage organisms beyond production control.

DuPont Nutrition & Health is permanently searching for new protective agents to provide food manufacturers with natural protective solutions for packaged foods.

Can Care4U™ solutions be used for fresh produce?

Care4U™ solutions are designed to control growth of food borne spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms with demonstrated efficacy. In large majority of the cases, Care4U™ products are used as an extra hurdle on top of other process/packaging hurdles to limit or reduce the growth of those microorganisms.

In the case of fresh produce, those process/packaging hurdles have a limited efficacy, thus limiting the shelf life. Care4U™ solutions such as HOLDBAC™ Protective Cultures, GUARDIAN™ Rosemary or Green Tea Extracts, MicroGard® Fermentates as well as Natamax™ Natural Antimicrobials can be used in fresh produce or on their surface to add an extra protection.

How long will Care4U™ products extend the shelf life of the end-products?

Shelf life will depend on a number of factors including quality of the starting ingredients, type and quality of fat/oil/lipid, processing, packaging, exposure to oxygen, UV light and metals, etc.

Therefore, exact shelf life extension cannot be determined without conducting specific challenge testing and trials in a customer’s product, preferably at the customer’s production site.