Listeria Eliminator Wins European FoodTec Award

Frankfurt – The company behind the innovation, Gebrüder Abraham Schinken headquartered in Germany, was recently honored with a silver award at the European FoodTec Awards ceremony held at the Anuga FoodTec.

Using an in-house-developed high pressure method, Listeria monocytogenes are safely removed from packaged ham.

Traditionally-produced, raw cured hams are natural products that ripen over a long period with no added preservatives, apart from nitrite with common salt or potassium nitrate/common salt and optionally smoke. Despite comprehensive hygiene measures, as a consequence of the specific product properties the occasional presence of Listeria on the ham cannot be ruled out completely. That is why a process making it possible to guarantee absolutely Listeria-free products directly in the sales packaging without any effects on the sensory properties of the ham was sought, so that recontamination too could be excluded. In collaboration with two research institutions, such a process was developed on the basis of high-pressure technology at pressures of 6,000 bar. Here too, the problems of the process were encountered at the detail level, as the defined objectives can only be realized within relatively narrow windows of the variable process parameters.

The European FoodTec Awards consists of Gold and Silver. Gold is awarded for products with added new functions or the use of a new concept, resulting in significant process improvements. Silver is awarded for existing products with further development that has achieved a significant improvement in function or process.

A number of sectors in the food industry are included in the awards scheme:

  • Processing and Automation
  • Packaging
  • Environmental
  • Biotechnology
  • Process management & software solutions
  • Logistics
  • Food safety and quality management

A jury panel of international experts selected the eight innovations from 36 finalists. The jury members were: Professor Petr Dejmek, Department of Food Processing, University of Lund, Sweden; Professor Ulrich Kulozik, Institute for Food Processing Technology, Munich Technical University; Professor Achim Stiebing, Department of Meat Technology, University of Applied Science of Lippe and Hoexter, Lemgo, Germany; Professor Erich Josef Windhab, Institute for Food Science/Process Technology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland.

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