Imported wines from Argentina: Antibiotics scandal

Thursday, 03. December 2009 | 10:05 Uhr | A.WIRTZFELD | WINECRIME
Translator: E.MEISSNER
Natamycin is not dangerous to health - however, the addition of natamycin is forbidden in the EU, except for cheese and sausages

GERMANY (Koblenz) - The federal investigation office (LUA) has found the forbidden substance natamycin in 6 other red wines from Argentina. From 184 examined wines sourced from third party countries analyzed since the beginning of November, a total of 11 contained the antibiotic. Forty-three wines produced in the EU and 67 German wines, which were analyzed, were found to be free of natamycin. The LUA has tested a total of 294 wines for natamycin since the beginning of November.

Natamycin was found in the following wines which were taken out of the stores: (1) Santa Julia, 2008, Mendoza, Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina, batch number L09-184-09, (2) FuZion, 2008, Mendoza, Tempranillo, Malbec, Argentina, batch number L09-198-21 and (3) Santa Andrea, 2008, Mendoza, Malbec & Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina, batch number L-56659. The 3 remaining wines did not go on sale.

Natamycin is permitted as a preservative to treat the surface of several types of cheese (hard, soft and semi-firm) as well as for dried or smoked sausages. According to food law, the maximum permitted quantity is 1 mg/dm2. Thereby, natamycin may not be detected 5mm below the cheese rind. The human body could develop a hypersensitivity reaction against natamycin of the dosage is exceeded and moulds could become resistant to the antibiotic.

Outside the EU, Natamycin is used in other groceries, such as wine, for example. Natamycin is used to interrupt fermentation at a certain sugar level during wine production. Furthermore, natamycin protects the wine from undesirable microbial influences caused by harmful organisms after fermentation. To achieve such effects, 10mg/l of natamycin have to be added.

The above-mentioned addition of natamycin, using the required dosages, is not permitted in the EU, except for cheese and sausages. Products imported by non EU-countries are not allowed to contain Natamycin. (aw.yoopress)

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