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Nisin is a natural antimicrobial agent used as a preservative in heat processed and low pH foods. According to the Food Chemical News Guide (a reference guide to the uses of foods additives permitted under Federal Law) , a nisin preparation is a concentrate of dry material derived from the controlled fermentation of a naturally occurring milk bacteria Streptococcus lactis. This bacterium contains nisin, a group of related peptides (partial amino acid chains that make up proteins) with antibiotic activity. The chemical nisin cannot be synthesized artificially, so the nisin-producing bacteria are basically farmed for their synthesis of nisin.