Natamycin, the preservative that protects cheeses from mould and fungi

What Natamycin is and what is it for

Natamycin (indicated on the label as preservative E235) is a chemical, antibiotic and antifungal compound used primarily in the dairy sector. It protects cheese and prevents the growth of fungal species, such as yeasts and moulds.

Natamycin is obtained from bacteria called Streptomyces natalensis and S. chattanoogensis. It has a true fungistatic action (it stops microscopic fungi from developing); any kind of fungicide (whose purpose is to destroy fungi and spores) is prohibited on foodstuffs.


Natamycin in the dairy industry: how does it benefit cheese?

Described on the label with the words “Rind treated with E235 preservative”, natamycin is specifically indicated for cheese.

It is used in order to avoid problems that might arise during the ripening phase as this is when mould tends to grow on the outer surface of the cheese.

Proliferation is unstoppable and the mould spreads to all the batches put out to mature, causing substantial damage. It causes a series of problems which are not merely of an aesthetic nature:

  • – penetration of mould beneath the rind and subsequent alternation of the organoleptic characteristics of the cheese;
  • – abnormal weight loss in the cheese due to an excessive amount of water seeping through surface cracks;
  • – microbiological contaminationas a result of cracks on the surface.

All of this contributes to substandard cheese due to an impaired flavour and an anomalous specific weight.

With its fungistatic effect, natamycin helps to stop fungi and mould from developing and prevents spoilage during the production stage.


Is Natamycin bad for us?

No, if used in accordance with prevailing foodstuff legislation; according to European regulations, natamycin on cheese rind must not be deeper than 5 millimetres underneath the rind.

In the event of overconsumption in susceptible persons, natamycin can cause allergic reactions, nausea and appetite disorders.

Furthermore, natamycin does not contain gluten.


Clerici natamycin (Natacid)

A lead player and a champion of dairy-product excellence, Caglificio Clerici boasts its own range of Natacid products which are all made from premium-quality ingredients and comply with Italian and international quality standards.

Clerici’s natamycin is called Natacid and made with salt or dextrose. Available in a 500 g. package, it comes in powder form and dissolves in a water solution.

Natacid has no contraindications. When applied to the rind, it acts as a protective shield that repels fungi, mould, contaminants, dampness and excessive dehydration, helping the cheese to retain all its organoleptic characteristics even in the post-production phase.

Caglificio Clerici consultants are always ready to help you with advice about dilution ratios and ideal quantities that comply with prevailing foodstuff legislation.

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