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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things You Should Know Thursday

I really hope you are all taking breaks today from your busy lives to head outside and just love this wonderful weather. I spent the morning with 2 awesome ladies riding bikes, running, using resistance bands at a park, using a playground for ab work and even working out using a tennis court!
I am going to start posting in a more predictable way so you know according to what day it is what I'll be posting about!  Here's the days and the topics...

Trainer Talk Tuesday
Workout that Works Wednesday
Things You Should Know Thursday
Fitness Fun Friday

So, today is Things You Should Know Thursday. Shredded cheese is a great convenience. However, I've often found that convient and/or cheap don't often equal healthy. Natamycin is a mold inhibitor found in the ingredients on shredded cheese. The cheese is exposed to air when shredded so the companies that make it add Natamycin to allow for longer shelf live. You should know what Natamycin is and what else it's being used in and for. Here's the a block of cheese without it and shred it yourself. Take a few minutes to spare you and your family's body of this agent that has not been researched enough or accepted enough around the world to be safe.

Natamycin (INN), also known as pimaricin, is a naturally occurring antifungal agent produced during fermentation by the bacterium Streptomyces natalensis, commonly found in soil. Natamycin has a very low solubility in water, however, natamycin is effective at very low levels. Most molds have an MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) of less than 10 ppm. Natamycin is classified as a macrolide polyene antifungal and, as a drug, is used to treat fungal keratitis. It is especially effective against Aspergillus and Fusarium corneal infections. Other common members of the polyene macrolide antifungal family are amphotericin B, nystatin, and filipin. Natamycin is also used in the food industry as a "natural" preservative.
Natamycin has been used for decades in the food industry as a hurdle to fungal outgrowth in dairy products, meats, and other foods. Potential advantages for the usage of natamycin might include the replacement of traditional chemical preservatives, a neutral flavor impact, and less dependence on pH for efficacy, as is common with chemical preservatives. It may be applied by spraying a liquid suspension, by dipping the product in an aqueous suspension (known as a "brine"), or by mixing it into the product in a powdered form along with cellulose (a known "anti-caking" agent) on whole, shredded, or soft cheeses. While not currently approved for use on meats in the United States, some countries allow natamycin to be applied to the surface of dry and fermented sausages to prevent mold growth on the casing. Also, natamycin is approved for various dairy applications in the United States. More specifically, natamycin is commonly used in products such as cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt and packaged salad mixes.
As a food additive, it has E number E235. Throughout the European Union, it is only approved as a surface preservative for certain cheese and dried sausage products. It must not be detectable 5 mm below the rind. The EU Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) states on the usage of Natamycin: "However, in view of the general principle with regard to the undesirability of using antibiotics in foodstuffs the Committee is strongly opposed to proposals for further food uses of natamycin such as use on ham and wine and other beverages." (SCF, 1979)[1]

In humans, a dose of 500 mg/kg/day repeated over multiple days caused nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.[3]There is no evidence that natamycin, at either pharmacological levels or levels encountered as a food additive, can harm normal intestinal flora, but definitive research may not be available.

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