Fumoir Grizzly, with partners Université Laval and Merinov, announced that it has completed development of the M35 bacteriocin and its application process. Named Bac M35, this completely natural bioingredient protects fish from growing Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria). The bacteriocin will be integrated in Grizzly’s production chain over the next several weeks. This major discovery also opens the door to applying Bac M35 in all food processing, thus eliminating the risk of Listeria contamination around the world. Bac M35 is a huge breakthrough in food preservation and is the first bacteriocin licensed by Health Canada for this purpose.
Less salt and fewer chemical additives
The M35 bacteriocin is an alternative to traditional microbiological barriers, mainly chemical additives and salt. This bacterial culture, similar to probiotics, is safe for human health and is sourced from a bioingredient naturally present in marine environments. Bac M35 protects fish for 21 days at 4 °C without affecting taste or nutritional content. Ensuring healthier fresh food, Bac M35 is natural, thermostable (remains effective even in varying temperatures) and is not harmful to the environment.
A universal scope
This discovery and especially its application position Fumoir Grizzly as a world leader in food preservation. Given Bac M35’s unique characteristics, no equivalent is currently known anywhere in the world. Fumoir Grizzly intends to market this bacteriocyte internationally. Patent requests have been submitted in the United States and are in progress for Europe. First targeting markets where fish is abundant, the company will bring Chili, Alaska and Norway into its realm. Fumoir Grizzly is also working on the development and improvement of BAC M35 for use with other foods, including fruits and vegetables, cheeses, beef and deli meats. Commercialization will also license the product to multinationals who have already expressed interest and R & D is expected to lead to other applications in other activity sectors.
Innovation quality and health at the heart of Fumoir Grizzly’s mission
“Given the food quality and safety challenges food processors face, the growing world population, the scarcity of resources and the dangers bacteriological contamination pose to human health, Fumoir Grizzly is extremely proud to present and apply Bac M35. We have always made research and development of products and techniques a priority, to ensure the quality and freshness of our fish. That’s what our reputation is built on,” explained Laura Boivin, president of Fumoir Grizzly. The company devotes 15% of its budget to R&D. Developing Bac M35 cost $600,000. The Saint-Augustin company invested $300,000, while the provincial and federal governments supplied the rest (see data sheet).
By applying Bac M35, Fumoir Grizzly promises fish of uncompromising natural quality, without added chemicals or salt. The bacteriocin’s benefits for consumer health (by naturally protecting the fish, and therefore consumers, from Listeria) and the economic benefits for the industry (in helping prevent costly product recalls and losses) positions Fumoir Grizzly as an international leader in its sector. Let us remember that every year in Canada, Listeria infects 178 people, causing an average 150 hospitalizations and 35 deaths, with direct and collateral costs of 240 M$ CAN.
The fruit of 15 years of research
Bac M35 is an active bioingredient based on 15 years of research by a team led by Ismaïl Fliss at Université Laval. Fliss is the METABIOLAC Industrial Research Chair in metabolic activity and the functionality of bioprotective lactic cultures. This chair is namely dedicated to testing the bacteriocin’s effectiveness in other agri-food applications. Bac M35‘s application process was developed by Laboratoire Innodal under the supervision of Laurent Dallaire.
Fumoir Grizzly is among the five largest fish smokehouses in Canada and is a leading seller of salmon and smoked salmon in Quebec. With a staff of over 65 people during the peak season and a 16,500-square foot plant in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, the company is continuously modernizing its equipment, increasing its production capacity and developing new products to keep its position as a leader in its field. Tying together past, present and future, Grizzly relies on a leading-edge facility and focuses on R&D while retaining its authenticity and desire to preserve ancestral know-how. All the while making healthy, mouth-watering products, of course!