Bovine milk-derived lactoferrin (BMDL), an iron-binding glycoprotein, is known to be an effective natural antimicrobial. It is used as a spray, applied electrostatically, to raw beef carcasses to detach bacteria adhering to the surface in order to reduce microbial contamination. The use of BMDL as a component (at not more than 2% by weight) of an antimicrobial spray was determined Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) (GRN 67) for three proposed uses (i.e., beef carcasses, subprimals, and finished cuts), provided that the ingredient statement of food products that contain milk-derived lactoferrin identifies the source of the protein. The use of BMDL spray on only beef carcasses (not subprimals or finished cuts) at a level not to exceed 0.20ml of formulation per kg of beef was determined safe without the requirement of labeling of food products so treated. The two key components of the assessment are: (1) a determination that exogenous lactoferrin exposure (resulting from its application to beef carcasses) is in the range of existing background exposures of lactoferrin as a result of lactoferrin found naturally in beef, and (2) a determination that this potentially small incremental increase in lactoferrin is safe (i.e., there is no reasonable expectation that BMDL will become an allergen under the conditions of its intended use).
ASJC Scopus subject areas