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KHNI Q Science Shorts – Why is Clean Label Preservation So Challenging?

Published on: Mar 22 2022

Preservation is critically important to reduce food waste globally because spoilage is a major cause of food waste. The longer foods and beverages can remain free of pathogens that cause foodborne illness or spoilage, the less waste is created during shipping and shelf life in-store and at-home.

What does it take to create effective preservatives that also appeal to consumer demands for ingredients they perceive as natural? For example, potassium sorbate is effective for yeast and mold control in beverages, but many people try to avoid ingredients like potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate due to negative perceptions they have of these preservatives.

Christie Cheng, BSc, a research and development scientist who focuses on food safety, provides a peek behind the curtains of the science of food safety to help us understand:

  1. Why is replacing traditional preservatives with clean label alternatives so challenging?
  2. What characteristics should a clean label preservative have?
  3. How do you create and validate successful clean label preservatives to sorbates or benzoates?
  • Christie Cheng, BSc

    Christie Cheng is a Research and Development Scientist in Kerry’s Food Protection & Preservation team, where she works to develop and apply preservation solutions to improve shelf-life and safety of foods and beverages. Prior to joining Kerry, Christie completed a BSc in Food Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has also worked as a researcher with the Food Research Institute.

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