Nisin preparation | Production | Uses | Safety | Side effects | FAQs
Nisin (or more accurately Nisin A), also known as a lantibiotic, is a small-molecule polypeptide antibiotic with antibacterial activity, synthesized and secreted by Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis during metabolism.
It is commonly used as a preservative in processed cheeses and meat products to inhibit Gram-positive spoilage and pathogenic bacteria. The European food additive number is E234. Generally, it is safe, natural, vegan (maybe), halal, kosher and gluten-free.
Nisin preparation is the commercial nisin sold in the market, available as a lyophilized (light brown) powder. It is made of three parts (2):
- Nisin: 2.5% (w/w) and with a minimum hydrous potency 900 IU/mg.
- Sodium chloride: not less than 50% which is used to adjust the activity of nisin.
- Non-fat milk solids or solids from fermentation.
There is a manufacturing process of commercial nisin preparation mentioned by EFSA, and the following are the brief flow chart:
- Fermentation of a sugar-based medium with added yeast extract using the bacterium Lactococcus lactis subsp. Lactis.
- Extraction of nisin concentration.
- Spray dry: precipitated with sodium chloride and then through a spray-dried process.
- Nisin preparation: standardized with sodium chloride to obtain a potency of 1,000 IU nisin A/mg.
How does it Work?
Nisin can inhibit the growth of a variety of food spoilage Gram-positive bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria and Clostridium botulinum, and it is particularly effective against spores that gram-positive bacteria that produces.
The main preservation mechanism of nisin is to bind to the anionic phospholipids (including lipid II) of the cell membrane and then inserted to the cell membrane.
These processes can stop all biosynthetic processes in Gram-positive bacteria, and therefore kill Gram-positive bacteria. The impermeability to cell walls of Gram-negative bacteria makes it ineffective to it. (3)
Light brown powder.
The water solubility increases with decreasing pH. Sparingly soluble at pH 7, 4% at pH 5.0, and 12% at pH 2.5. Insoluble in non-polar solvents.
The lower the pH, the higher the stability. Nisin has strong acid and high temperature resistance. Its thermal stability can be used for inhibiting various Gram-positive bacteria during food processing and preservation.
There is a long history of using fermentation of lactic acid bacteria to preserve food. The inhibitory effects of lactic acid and other organic acids produced during the fermentation are fully recognized, but the antimicrobial effects of nisin produced in the metabolism of lactic acid bacteria metabolism are gradually discovered in later studies.
Nisin can be used in cheeses, canned food, meat products to:
- Prevent food spoilage by inhibiting the growth of Gram-positive bacteria & the spores and result in extending storage time.
- Reduce food sterilization temperature & time and therefore reduce nutrition loss.
Nisin can help reduce the intensity of heat treatment, and therefore reduce the loss of nutritional components of the food in canned food. Meanwhile, it inhibits the growth and reproduction of heat-resistant spore-former and extends the food shelf life.
For example, adding nisin to pickles can reduce the amount of chemical preservatives sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, and can also inhibit the growth and reproduction of lactic acid bacteria and Staphylococcus aureus.
Sodium nitrite and nitric acid are commonly used in the production of meat products as preservatives and color enhancements, but these two additives are harmful to the human body and may even cause cancer. Nisin can reduce the addition or replace sodium nitrite and nitric acid in meat products, the following are some of its applications:
- canned ham
- smoked pork
- salted pork
- vacuum-packed fresh beef
Also, nisin can inhibit the growth of Clostridium botulinum, the most common microorganism that leads to meat products spoilage.
In the beer processing process, microorganisms are easy to grow and cause microbial contamination. Nisin can inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria, enhance the sterilization effect of hops on thermophilic bacteria without causing any adverse effects on the fermentation characteristics of beer yeast, thereby ensuring the quality and flavor of the beer.
Ice cream is often contaminated by Listeria during the production process and Listeria can still be found even under ultra-low temperature conditions. Nisin can be used to inhibit the growth of Listeria.
Milk is susceptible to be contaminated by various microorganisms during the process of production, storage, and transportation.
Pasteurization can only kill pathogenic microorganisms, but there are still other microorganisms that may exist and affect the preservation and shelf life. Nisin can inhibit Gram-positive bacteria, thereby prolonging shelf life.
In yogurt, the main purpose of nisin is not for preservation (as low pH, contaminating bacteria are mainly molds and yeasts, and nisin does not inhibit them) but to prevent post-acidification during storage, which is caused by lactic acid (produced by lactobacillus). Acidity affects the edible quality of the yogurt and makes ice cream taste bad.
Working with Natamycin and other Preservatives
Due to the narrow antibacterial spectrum of nisin, which can only kill or inhibit Gram-positive bacteria, therefore its application is limited, and the combined use of Nisin and other preservatives or acidulants (citric acid, lactic acid) can make up for this shortcoming, and then exert a broad-spectrum antibacterial effect.
It is sometimes used with natamycin for a synergy effect. Natamycin is also a biopreservative produced by the fermentation of streptomyces, effective in inhibiting the growth of various molds, yeasts and mycotoxins.
However, it is used only for the preservation of food surfaces due to its low solubility.
Yes, it is considered safer than chemical preservatives as it is natural and quickly hydrolyzed into amino acids in the digestive tract by proteolytic enzymes (trypsin, sialase, digestive enzymes, etc.) after oral ingestion.
It has been approved safe by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), as well as Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), and is being used in more than 50 countries.
Nisin preparation is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) with a maximum level of 250 mg/kg of nisin in the finished product to use as an antimicrobial agent to inhibit the outgrowth of Clostridium botulinum spores and toxin formation in pasteurized (process) cheese spreads (with fruits, vegetables, or meats). (4)
It is permitted to be used in the following products (not totally included) with the maximum levels ranges from 2.5 – 30 ppm. (5):
- Baking mixes containing egg
- Concentrated juice
- Ready-to-eat meat/poultry meat/smoked fish
- Unstandardized processed cheese products, Sausage
Nisin (E234) is listed in Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 as an authorised food additive and categorized in “Additives other than colours and sweeteners” (6).
Evaluation in 2017
EFSA concluded that the use of nisin (E 234) as a food additive in unripened cheese and in heat-treated meat products would not be of safety concern as the exposure of nisin A was below the new ADI (1mg/kg). (7)
Authorised Uses And Use Levels
The following products may contain it with the maximum usage from 10mg/kg to 12.5mg/kg (8):
- Clotted cream
- Ripened/Processed cheese and products
- Pasteurised liquid egg (white, yolk or whole egg)
- Semolina and tapioca puddings and similar products
UK Food Standards Agency
Categorized in “Preservatives” (9)
Food Standards Australia New Zealand
In Australia and New Zealand are all with the code number 234. (10)
Functional Class: food additives, preservative. (11)
Acceptable daily intake: ADI “2 mg/kg bw” set in 2013. (12)
Almost no reported side effects. It can reduce the allergy symptoms caused by the chemical preservative and may benefit the colorectal cancer patient (13).
Is Nisin safe during pregnancy?
Yes, it is generally safe but better consult your doctor in the condition of use.
What is Nisin A?
Nisin A is the major polypeptide in nisin, which is a mixture of closely related antimicrobial polypeptides composed of 34 amino acids. Commonly nisin with the E number E234 and CAS number 1414-45-5 is referred to nisin A. There are also other nisin types, such as nisin Z, another natural occurring nisin variant, with a better solubility and antimicrobial effect than nisin A (14).
Is Nisin Vegan?
Maybe, it is not vegan if skimmed milk is used as the medium or otherwise it is vegan if a sugar-based medium is used as derived from non-animal source and meeting some vegetarians demands of natural food preservatives.
Is Nisin Gluten Free?
Yes, this ingredient is gluten-free as complying with the FDA’s definition of gluten free, that it does not contain wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains. And it is generally considered safe for people with celiac disease.
Is Nisin Dairy Free?
Maybe. Depending on the sugar medium or milk medium the manufacturer used. It is vegan if sugar medium is used such as dextrose.
Now I think you may have a good knowledge of preservative – nisin (E234), from production process, health benefits, uses, approved safety and possible side effects. Also you may be clear with some common FAQs such as is it gluten free, vegan and dairy free.
What kinds of food labels have you found this additive in? Let me know in the comments.
Origin: Natural polymer derived from certain species of lice from India . Side effects: None known.What is food preservative nisin E 234? ›
Nisin (nisin A) is a polypeptide composed of 34 amino acids and belongs to class I bacteriocins. Bacteriocins are proteins/peptides naturally produced by bacteria to inhibit the growth of other bacteria. Nisin A is produced via fermentation by Lactococcus lactis subsp.What are the side effects of E numbers in food? ›
E-numbers to which you or your children may be allergic
Allergies to food additives are common, with typical reactions being headaches, skin problems, nausea, palpitations, trembling, or digestive disorders.
Nisin is a natural preservative for many food products. This bacteriocin is mainly used in dairy and meat products. Nisin inhibits pathogenic food borne bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes and many other Gram-positive food spoilage microorganisms.What name one food additive you should stay away from? ›
Butylated hydroxyanisole, better known as BHA, is a preservative used in cured meats and other foods. Multiple sources have identified it as a possible human carcinogen. Butylated hydroxytoluene, also called BHT, is a preservative found in cereals and other foods.Is E234 harmful? ›
Is Nisin safe to Eat? Yes, it is considered safer than chemical preservatives as it is natural and quickly hydrolyzed into amino acids in the digestive tract by proteolytic enzymes (trypsin, sialase, digestive enzymes, etc.) after oral ingestion.What are the side effects of E234? ›
Although Nisin E234 generally regarded as a very safe and effective supplement, there can be some minor side effects. Possible side effects: pruritus, nausea, and flushing. Other side effects include: pruritus, skin rash, and vomiting.Is nisin good for health? ›
“Current findings and other published data support nisin's potential use to treat antibiotic resistant infections, periodontal disease and cancer,” Kapila noted. The researchers found that feeding rats a “nisin milkshake” killed 70-80 percent of head and neck tumour cells after nine weeks and extended survival.What E numbers should you avoid? ›
- E102 (tartrazine)
- E104 (quinoline yellow)
- E110 (sunset yellow FCF)
- E122 (carmoisine)
- E124 (ponceau 4R)
- E129 (allura red)
Emulsifier and stabilizer blends for ice cream traditionally contain at least 3 e-numbers but 4 or 5 e-numbers are very common. As each added ingredient in the blend has a specific functionality, removal of any of the ingredients influences the ice cream quality.
Hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose is quite soluble, and can be fermented in the large intestine. Large concentrations can cause intestinal problems, such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.What is the safest natural preservative? ›
Salt, honey, and certain fruits are good for preventing foods from spoiling. These natural preservatives keep harmful microbes from growing.What is nisin in canned food? ›
Nisin is used in canned foods mainly for the control of thermophilic spoilage. It is mandatory in most countries that low-acid canned foods (pH > 4.5) receive a minimum heat process of F0 = 3 to insure the destruction of C. botulinum spores, i.e., the minimum botulinum cook.Is nisin used in cheese? ›
Nisin is used in pasteurized, processed cheese products to prevent outgrowth of spores such as those of Clostridium tyrobutyricum that may survive heat treatments as high as 85–105°C.
- White Flour, Rice, Pasta, and Bread. ...
- High Fructose Corn Syrup. ...
- Artificial Sweeteners. ...
- Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Benzoate. ...
- Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) ...
- Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Nitrites. ...
- Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow. ...
Processed, packaged foods like some crackers, cereals, breads, snacks, ready-to-eat meals, cheese, yogurt, deli meats, sauces and soups may contain preservatives.Should I avoid preservatives? ›
Actively avoiding artificial preservatives is a personal choice, said Lui. “When consumed in small amounts, they shouldn't pose any health risk… but how much is too much to affect one's health is still debatable,” she said. “Therefore, it's best to limit processed and take-out foods, like snacks, sweets and fast foods.What is the number 1 food additive in the United States? ›
Salt, sugar, and corn syrup are by far the most widely used additives in food in this country. What is a food additive?Should I avoid food additives? ›
Consuming small amounts of additives may be safe, but the health risks add up if you rely heavily on processed foods. A diet rich in processed foods is linked to chronic diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.Should we avoid food additives? ›
Most artificial food additives are not harmful to human health, and those that do pose health risks are banned or limited by the FDA. Instead of trying to completely eliminate artificial food additives from your diet, focus on consuming a diet of whole, minimally processed foods, which will naturally lower your intake.
One of the most harmful effects of preservatives on food items is their ability to transform into carcinogen agents. Some of the food items consist of nitrosamines, a preservative that has nitrites and nitrates, which mix with the gastric acids and form cancer-causing agents.Is nisin e 234 safe as a food additive in the light of new toxicological data and the proposed extension of use? ›
The Panel concluded that the proposed extension of use of nisin (E 234) as a food additive in unripened cheese (at maximum level of 12 mg/kg) and in heat-treated meat products (at maximum level of 25 mg/kg) would not be of safety concern.Which bacteria is highly sensitive to nisin? ›
Nisin has been used in the food industry as a natural preservative for decades, thanks to its high level of activity against bacteria and low level of toxicity for humans (2, 10). It is highly effective against Gram-positive bacteria, with its MICs being at nanomolar concentrations (1, 2, 5).Is nisin a probiotic? ›
Nisin probiotic prevents inflammatory bone loss while promoting reparative proliferation and a healthy microbiome. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes. 2022 Jun 7;8(1):45. doi: 10.1038/s41522-022-00307-x.Is nisin an antibiotic? ›
Nisin is an antimicrobial peptide produced by certain Gram-positive bacteria that include Lactococcus and Streptococcus species (Lubelski et al., 2008; de Arauz et al., 2009).Does nisin contain milk? ›
Nisin Preparation is a preservative often created using milk. Nisin Preparation may not be safe for those with a milk allergy.What is nisin food preservative produced by? ›
Nisin is a food preservative produced by Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis. Previous blood biochemical research revealed that nisin has physiological effects in mammals; although the site of action has yet to be identified, keratinocytes have been proposed as a possible target.What does nisin preparation mean? ›
Nisin preparation consists of nisin and sodium chloride with an activity of not less than 900 units per mg. The activity is adjusted by addition of sodium chloride. Non-fat milk solids or solids from other fermentation sources are present in the preparation.How long does it take for food dye to leave your system? ›
In general, however, it is believed that food dyes are typically excreted from the body within 24-48 hours.What foods can cause behavior problems? ›
- Dairy and Behavioral Issues.
- Gluten and Irritability.
- Artificial Food Dyes and Hyperactivity.
Check My Body Health found Cadbury Mini Eggs contained the highest - with seven E numbers.Do bananas have E numbers? ›
All food is made up of chemicals so if you follow an organic diet, you would still consume E-numbers. For example, an organically grown all natural banana contains 50 or more chemicals including E560, E461, E462, E464, E466, E467, E101, E300, E306, E160a & E1510.Does vinegar have an E number? ›
Acetic Acid Uses
As mentioned earlier, acetic acid is primarily found in vinegar. Its also used as food additive (E number E260) for regulating acidity and as a preservative.
It's the E number found in chocolate and chewing gum that's been linked to cancer. So how safe is it? E171, also known as titanium dioxide, is a common ingredient found in everything from toothpaste to toddler food. But the European Food Standards Agency wants to ban it over safety fears.What is cellulose gum side effects? ›
Studies have also found that long-term consumption of cellulose gum, or CMC, can cause inflammation in rodents (8). As for studies involving humans, a 2021 study found that long-term consumption of cellulose gum can alter levels of beneficial bacteria and nutrients in the gut.Does cellulose have side effects? ›
Consuming cellulose from foods, supplements, or additives is likely safe for most people. However, getting too much of it may lead to side effects that happen with the overconsumption of fiber, such as gas, bloating, and stomach pain.What does methylcellulose do to the body? ›
METHYLCELLULOSE (meth ill SELL yoo lose) prevents and treats occasional constipation. It works by increasing the bulk of your stool. This increases pressure, which prompts the muscles in your intestines to move stool. It also softens the stool, making it easier to have a bowel movement.Is apple cider vinegar a natural preservative? ›
Just like other types of vinegar, apple cider vinegar is an effective preservative. In fact, people have used vinegar as a pickling agent to preserve foods for thousands of years. It works by making the food more acidic, which deactivates its enzymes and kills any bacteria that may cause spoilage.Is olive oil a natural preservative? ›
Olive oil is a natural preservative that prevents spoilage by isolating the food from air, providing a seal that can delay oxidation, deterioration and molding.Is peanut butter a natural preservative? ›
Peanut butter uses sodium benzoate as a preservative, which can prevent mould growth, spoilage and help retain freshness. However, the active ingredient that actually does the preserving is the benzoic acid. It is a very potent acid with a pKa of approximately 4.2, and it has the ability to inhibit some microorganisms.
Nisin (E 234) is currently an authorised food additive in the European Union (EU) under Annex II of Regulation (EC) 1333/2008 for use in several food categories. Nisin (nisin A) is a polypeptide composed of 34 amino acids and belongs to class I bacteriocins.Can you rinse BPA off of canned food? ›
For canned food products such as fruit and vegetables with Proposition 65 warnings for BPA, drain and rinse the contents before eating, if possible. This may reduce the amount of BPA in the food.Is nisin preparation safe to eat? ›
Is Nisin safe to Eat? Yes, it is considered safer than chemical preservatives as it is natural and quickly hydrolyzed into amino acids in the digestive tract by proteolytic enzymes (trypsin, sialase, digestive enzymes, etc.) after oral ingestion.Where is nisin from? ›
Nisin is a polypeptide (molecular weight 3500) that usually exists as a dimer. It is produced by Lactococcus lactis and may be formed naturally in cheese. The polypeptide chain contains l-amino acids and the unusual sulfur-amino acids lanthionine and β-methyl-lanthionine.Why do they put dye in cheese? ›
Coloring has been added to cheddar cheese for centuries to regulate color variations in milk that can come from seasonal changes in the cow's diet.What does food code E904 mean? ›
Shellac resin secreted by the female lac bug. Used in confectionery products as a glazing agent, and to reduce moisture loss in fruit.
Despite potential benefits, sodium benzoate can have side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain ( 2 , 18 ). Additionally, medicinal doses of sodium benzoate may deplete your body of the amino acid carnitine, which plays a critical role in energy production.What is anti caking agent side effects? ›
Some studies suggest that anticaking agents may have a negative effect on the nutritional content of food; one such study indicated that most anti-caking agents result in the additional degradation of vitamin C added to food.What are the symptoms of food preservative intolerance? ›
Although the exact pathophysiology is unknown, various clinical signs are characteristic of food additive intolerance. These include cutaneous symtoms like redness of the skin, urticaria and angioedema as well as other organ related symptoms, such as dyspnea, hypotension or dizziness.Are food additives with E numbers safe? ›
All food additives, including artificial colours have an "E number", which means they have passed safety tests and are approved for use in the EU.
(not vegan) E904 is the food additive number for Shellac, a resin excreted by the female lac bug. It is used as a glaze for candy (including Jelly Belly jellybeans) as well as pills, and as a coating on citrus fruit and apples to prolong shelf-life.Is formaldehyde safe in food? ›
Ingestion of a small amount of formaldehyde is unlikely to cause acute effect, but ingestion of a large amount of formaldehyde can generally cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting, coma, renal injury and possible death.How many side effects are in food preservatives? ›
Sustained and excessive consumption of artificial preservatives can weaken heart tissues which is dangerous especially for the aged people. 4. They could contain BHA and BHT food additives which could be cancer causing. BHT is used in cereals and fats while BHA could be present in potatoes, meats and other baked goods.How long does sodium benzoate stay in the body? ›
Your body doesn't accumulate sodium benzoate. Rather, you metabolize and excrete it in your urine within 24 hours, which contributes to its safety. Still, some people may be more sensitive to this additive.What are the symptoms of sodium benzoate toxicity? ›
Summary. Commonly reported side effects of sodium benzoate/sodium phenylacetate include: infection, respiratory system disorder, central nervous system disease, disorder of lymphatic system, hematologic disease, nutrition disorder, and vomiting.Is anti-caking agent natural? ›
Most anticaking agents are made from synthetic substances such as silicon dioxide, magnesium carbonate and iron ammonium citrate. Calcium silicate, commonly added to table salt, absorbs both oil and water. Natural anticaking agents include magnesium silicate and corn starch.Does Himalayan salt have anti-caking agent? ›
It usually doesn't contain any trace minerals, iodine, or anti-clumping or anti-caking agents.
Ground Rice Hulls is a natural anti-caking agent great for keeping your seasoning blends in free flowing condition. This product is all natural and is used at 2% per weight of seasoning. Rice Hulls are a great alternative to Silicon Dioxide and can help your product achieve a clean label.What are 3 signs of food sensitivity? ›
- Tingling or itching in the mouth.
- Hives, itching or eczema.
- Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body.
- Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing.
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting.
The three most common food intolerances are lactose, a sugar found in milk, casein, a protein found in milk, and gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley.
- Toss Out Processed Foods. ...
- Eat More Green Grapes. ...
- Take a Daily Detox Tea. ...
- Stay Away from Sugar. ...
- Drink Lots of Water. ...
- Add Lemon, Cayenne, and Vinegar to Your Water. ...
- Stretch Regularly. ...
- Breathe Deeply.