This viewpoint deals with regulatory aspects of microbial cultures added to foods, and primarily the lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The authors propose a number of key principles for future regulation of these cultures by the European Union. These principles are supported by brief reviews of LAB taxonomy, safety, and consumer perception. Then, a review is given of advantages and drawbacks of current US and EU legislation and leads to a proposal for an EU system of generic approval of cultures. The system would be based on inventories of micro-organisms with well-established histories of safe use.
- lactic acid bacteria