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Synedgen Biopolymer Slows Down E. Coli Growth in Beef Products

Claremont, CA (PRWEB) October 31, 2013

Escherichia coli, or more commonly E. coli, have become the source of feared news stories for consumers of fresh meat, fruit and vegetables due to recent contamination outbreaks. Research conducted at the School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography, at Bangor University, Bangor, UK with Synedgen’s new polysaccharide technology shows that a safe polymer derived from shrimp shells has activity to stop the growth and potential infection by these pathogens that infect the gastrointestinal tract. The data appears in the September issue of the International Journal of Food Science and Technology, a premier journal that promotes new knowledge and techniques in the food sciences.

E. coli O157:H7 is a particularly deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2-8 days after consuming contaminated food or water. While most people recover within a week, some develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure most common in young children and older adults.

Stacy Townsend, PhD and Shenda Baker, PhD of Synedgen, and Rabya Lahmer, Prysor Williams, PhD and Davey Jones, PhD from Bangor University present the research in an article “Susceptibility of Escherichia coli O157 to chitosan-arginine in beef liquid purge is affected by bacterial cell growth phase.” The researchers showed that a chitosan derivative developed by Synedgen could help to control the spread of food-borne pathogens on Escherichia coli O157:H7 within contaminated beef juice at room temperature. Beef juice typifies a high-nutrient environment often found in meat packaging where E. coli can multiply; it has been identified as a major source of cross-contamination in food processing environments.

The results showed that the Synedgen chitosan derivative was most bioactive against bacteria in the lag phase, which is the earliest stage of the bacterial growth cycle, and in the exponential phase where cell division proceeds at a rapid, constant rate. The Synedgen chitosan derivative showed a reduced, although still significant effect on the viability and metabolic activity of E. coli O157 during the stationary phase, where conditions become unfavorable for growth and bacteria stop replicating.

The Synedgen chitosan derivative limited the growth and activity of food spoilage bacteria, but did not completely eliminate bacterial contaminants originally present. These results suggest that the Synedgen product may reduce the growth of food spoilage bacteria at key stages in the food supply chain, for example during storage and transportation, and prior to consumption.

“This year alone, thousands of pounds of beef have been recalled due to possible E. coli contamination, which is a serious health concern. The results of this research suggest our biocompatible derivative provides a protective measure against the risk of pathogen transfer in the food chain,” remarked Dr. Townsend.

The article abstract is available at

About Synedgen
Synedgen Inc. is an innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies and products through its proprietary biomaterials technology platform. Product development is targeted to controlling bacterial populations in general and to specifically address unmet needs for therapies to treat inflammation, damage or infection at dermal, pulmonary and gastrointestinal surfaces. Synedgen’s Corporate Headquarters, Research Laboratories and Manufacturing Facility are in Claremont, CA. Additional information can be found at Synedgen’s web site at

This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Synedgen’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, we cannot assure that the results or developments anticipated by management will be realized or will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, us or our business prospects or financial condition.

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