Baby eating yogurt

Chr. Hansen reveals the scientific mechanism behind the success of fermentation-enabled bioprotection in delaying spoilage

The use of food cultures with bioprotective effects is becoming more widespread, and for good reason. Fermentation-enabled bioprotection – such as Chr. Hansen’s FRESHQ® – helps fight spoilage to extend shelf life, reduce waste and enable consumers to get the most out of the foods they buy. While these lactic acid bacteria have long been known to delay the spoilage of food, their exact mode of action was less well-understood.

Chr. Hansen’s team of scientists were the first to reveal the mechanism responsible for delaying the growth of yeast and mold in fermented dairy products. Their research discovered that these lactic acid bacteria strains out-compete contaminants for manganese, a specific nutrient, effectively working to starve them. This mode of action helps to keep food fresh and delays the spoilage of foods that might otherwise go bad due to yeast or mold.  Our team of scientists worked internally to identify the "transporter" within FRESHQ® food cultures that takes up manganese. Then, in cooperation with North Carolina State University in the United States, the mechanism was proved at genetic level.

We are proud to share these findings, which are significant and featured in an article in the prestigious Applied and Environmental Microbiology Journal.

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Leading our industry to capture the value of fermentation for fresher food

Peter Thoeysen, Director of Chr. Hansen’s Dairy Bioprotection department, refers to this discovery as a game-changer for the company’s work in this field: “We are harnessing nature’s own capabilities to help our customers build their brands, improve quality, and reduce food waste, all while keeping pace with market demands for real food with fewer artificial ingredients. Now, we are able to understand exactly how live cultures keep food fresh at a scientific level. As we look to the future, this achievement will enable us to better support our customers by providing superior solutions for a growing array of food types. This discovery helps to cement our leading role in advancing the use of fermentation-enabled bioprotection in food as we apply the power of good bacteria to making good food better, for longer.”

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