WINNIPEG, Nov. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Raw food like edible seeds boast a broad range of health benefits, including: weight loss, increased energy and lowered cholesterol and blood pressure. Raw edible seeds like chia, hemp, flax, and sesame (used in hummus) are growing in popularity because of their nutritional value and great taste.
However, many consumers are unaware that the raw food they are eating may not be safe due to contamination by pathogens like E. Coli or Salmonella, because it hasn't been cooked or processed. Raw edible seeds are no different. This can have devastating effects on the health of consumers, but also on retailers and wholesalers selling raw food products.
Both the CFIA and the FDA have concluded that in 2014 alone, over 100 Canadians and Americans suffered severe illnesses from eating contaminated food products made from raw edible seeds like chia, flax, and sesame.
In an effort to solve this growing problem, Canadian company Agri-Neo has launched Neo-Pure, the first CFIA approved organic sanitizer that destroys harmful pathogens like bacteria and fungi on the surface, and inside raw edible seeds. Neo-Pure is also certified Halal, Kosher, and HACCP-endorsed.
"North Americans are increasingly integrating raw foods into their diets. But, until now, there has been no way for food processors to purify raw foods in a way that is safe, organic, and completely bio-degradable, leaving them unchanged" said Rob Wong, President and COO of Agri-Neo. "This is a major advancement – it gives confidence to consumers that raw edible seeds, which we know have so many health benefits, are as pure as they can be."
If undetected, pathogens can make people sick, resulting in serious repercussions on the food supply chain. A company that puts out a bad product is subject to costly lawsuits, criminal liability, and loss of confidence in their brand.
Recently, Canadian company Advantage Health Matters Inc. faced challenges when one of its brands was recalled due to possible food safety concerns. Given this recent experience, the company ensures its customers' safety by treating all of their raw edible seeds with Neo-Pure.
"There is a real need right now for a tangible way to reduce elevated microbiology found in raw foods," said Jerry Zeifman, President of Advantage Health Matters. "Solutions like dry steam sterilization as well as other pasteurization methods just don't work for products like raw edible seeds. By working with Agri-Neo to integrate Neo-Pure as our sanitization agent we feel confident that our products are safer for consumers, while meeting organic standards, and have shared this conviction with the major grocery and health food stores to whom we distribute."
Current widespread food safety practices fall short. For example, sampling is randomized, and unlikely to detect all contaminated raw edible seeds. It only takes one contaminated seed to make someone sick, or worse.
Fortunately, regulators have recognized this and have begun mandating food processors to have preventative treatments in place to ensure that necessary precautions are taken for food safety on their raw food products. Both the Safe Food for Canadians Act in Canada, and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in the U.S., prescribes this preventative treatment for pathogen control.
With Neo-Pure, food processers can ensure product integrity, compliance and profit maximization while consumers can feel good about the food products they eat, knowing they have been treated with a best-in-class food safety solution.
Agri-Neo is a Canadian-based company with the mission to help safely feed the world. To accomplish this, we want to help make bio-pesticides a standard solution.
Our world faces major challenges, but there may not be a greater one than the need to feed our rapidly growing population in a more sustainable manner. Currently, man-made synthetic pesticides are sprayed on our food to control pests in order to increase crop yields. But there is an increasing concern about the risks of these toxic pesticides, resulting in their use being heavily regulated or even restricted.
Bio-pesticides harness the science of biotechnology, and are a new, non-toxic solution to address our food supply challenges. They can control pests without harming human health or the environment. This emerging category of products is rapidly growing, but is still a long way from being mainstream.
Agri-Neo wants to change that. Our innovative bio-pesticide products are developed to specifically address significant unmet needs across the food chain. This gives us the potential to introduce the standard solution in each of our target markets, leading to our ultimate goal of replacing toxic pesticides. Together, we are driven to build a company that helps feed the world's growing population with safe and sustainable agriculture.
To learn more, visit our website at http://agri-neo.com/.
Image with caption: "Agri-Neo (CNW Group/Agri-Neo)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141117_C4928_PHOTO_EN_8151.jpg
For further information: MEDIA CONTACT:Joanne Pitkin, FleishmanHillard Canada, 613-688-7794