FI 'Best Innovation in Food Industry' Gold for EBI
LONDON, Nov. 5 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- At FI Europe, the world's largest food ingredients event, with a record breaking 23000 visitors and over 1,000 exhibitors in London this week, a distinguished panel of judges has awarded its prestigious Gold Award to EBI Food Safety of The Netherlands.
In its fight against Listeria, and other dangerous bacteria, the food industry has embraced a 'green' solution, using bacteriophages as the way to go. EBI Food Safety, first-to-market with a commercial bacteriophage product, fended off competition from eight other finalists to scoop the Oscar of the Food Industry, for its LISTEX(TM) product against Listeria monocytogenes, the deadly food pathogens.
At a glittering ceremony in London's Excel Centre, the awards came at the end of a day of non-stop deliberation by the judges. "This year's FI Awards have been the most exciting ever" said Henry Dixon, chairman of the judging committee and director of international food marketing communications agency Barret Dixon Bell. "We received over 50 entries, and had a really good spread of innovations and market factors. They were extremely strong finalists".
"LISTEX(TM) is a true innovation, a new approach to an urgent and growing problem that affects both consumers and manufacturers" said Dixon, explaining the judges' reason for choosing EBI Food Safety as the winner of the Gold Award. The FI Awards, which have been running since 1994, are one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the food industry calendar, and this year was no exception. "I think the FI Awards are particularly special in that they really make a difference - as evidenced by the amount of interest that has been shown in them - journalists from around the globe have been desperate to find out who has won", said Dixon.
LISTEX(TM) effectively eliminates Listeria monocytogenes, without affecting the other properties of the food. It is a safe and natural product, which is easy to apply in a variety of Listeria-susceptible products, such as hams and hot dogs, cheese, fish and many RTE-products. It addresses a multi-billion dollar industry problem, on account of Listeria's high mortality (20-30%) and ability to grow at refrigerated temperatures and in low oxygen environments such as packaged foods. First associated with a food borne outbreak in 1981, killing 7, Listeria monocytogenes is now responsible for almost half of all deaths caused by food pathogens. Other potentially fatal pathogens are Salmonella, Campylobacter and E-coli, for which EBI Food Safety is also developing bacteriophage products.
EBI Food Safety's CEO, Mark Offerhaus: "We are honoured by the judges' decision. This choice is a confirmation from the industry that the use of phages is a logical one. Last month the largest frozen hamburger producer in the US went out of business, just two weeks after it's first ever product recall. The consequences of a contaminated product reaching the market can be catastrophic. Use of natural phages translates into risk-reduction, valued by shareholders and consumers alike."
About EBI Food Safety
EBI Food Safety (http://www.ebifoodsafety.com), located in Wageningen ("Food Valley"), The Netherlands, develops and markets natural bacteriophage products against dangerous food pathogens and is viewed as product leader in this field. Earlier this year EBI Food Safety was elected as one of Holland's 25 most promising young enterprises by FEM Business Magazine. The company's scientific network includes collaborations with universities and research centers around the world.
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