and clean label:
is that possible?

By: Frank de Bok

The market shares for alternatives to products of animal origin (plant-based products) has increased enormously in recent years. This trend is assumed to continue, which is why significant investments are being made in the production of these alternatives. Another point that needs attention is the shelf-life duration.

Many plant-based products sold have already undergone a heat treatment during the production process, therefore, often seen as ready-to-eat. The checks on compliance with the legal requirements that apply to this food category (established in Regulation EC No. 2073/2005) have been tightened considerably in recent years. Many ready-to-eat products appeared to have been given a shelf life that was too long, therefore not guaranteeing the legal limit for Listeria monocytogenes would not be exceeded.

E-number on packaging

In response to this, many products have been altered, ensuring a long shelf-life. Reflected on the labels of these products is the use of acetic and/or lactic acid, used to slow down the bacterium, applied in various forms. It is therefore required to declare it as an E-number on the packaging. This trend is now also used in the production of ready-to-eat plant-based products. In many of these products, the risk of Listeria monocytogenes outgrowth is controlled by using these preservatives. Is this necessary to give a product such a long shelf-life? Producers could also choose to eliminate the risk through heat treatment. Although it also has downsides, it does offer the possibility of giving products a long shelf-life without declaring numerous additives on the label.

Alternative: pasteurisation
An easily overlooked alternative is that of high-pressure pasteurisation (HPP). This technique, usually used in the production of juices, and smoothies, has managed to fill a lot of shelf space in the supermarkets with a shelf-life duration of several months. This technique offers many possibilities for other plant-based products, and as a result, many producers are already in an exploratory phase regarding the application of HPP. They are investigating what it does to pathogens in their products.


Uw naam


Naam ontvanger

E-mail adres ontvanger

Uw bericht