Labneh found to contain illegal ingredient in Lebanon


imageHealth Minister Wael Abou Faour referred on Monday the case of the Natamycin anti-fungal agent found in labneh (strained yogurt) products to the General Prosecution.

He referred the case to General Prosecution after confirming reports that Natamycin was found in labneh and after manufacturers admitted to using it.

Adding Natamycin to labneh is a violation of Lebanese standard specifications in the production of strained yogurt.

The case will be referred to the General Prosecution in order to take the necessary measures against those found to be involved in this issue.

Industry Minister Hussein al-Hajj Hassan had demanded during a press conference last week that manufacturers adhere to the standard specifications in the making of dairy products.

Labels of the product details and ingredients should be placed on their packages, he explained.

Natamycin is used in cheese products, but there are no studies that indicate whether it is harmful should it be used in the amounts that were found in local labneh products.

The results of tests conducted by the UFAG Swiss lab and obtained by the Heath Ministry confirmed the presence of Natamycin in labneh products of the Dairy Khoury and Dairy Day companies.




13 responses to “Labneh found to contain illegal ingredient in Lebanon”

  1. libnan1 Avatar

    What is wrong with Natamycin???? Every piece of cheese we buy contains Natamycin. Labneh is my favorite ….

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Maybe that’s why you are like you are … hahahahhahahahaa

      1. Then whats your excuse 5th.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          I have stock in the ‘poison company’. Something needed for retirement.
          Doesn’t mean I eat the crap.

          1. It seems you need a retirement plan for your retirement plan. -:)))

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Not at all … you see the ‘but there are no studies that indicate whether it is harmful should it be used in the amounts that were found in local labneh products’ bit there … the ‘line’ …
            We many never know πŸ˜‰ Humans are the longest-term guinea pigs we have, πŸ™‚
            What bugged me most was the ‘fear of god’ that the TV reports put into women who also have eaten it all their lives, and the thought that a cancer may have already surfaced …. only increasing the anxiety in a ‘guiet time’ between gun-shots through the walls. After all, who needs the ‘extras’? The stress they live under now will probably kill them before the chemistry.

          3. Patience2 Avatar

            Now when Natamycin is used to stop the fermentation at just the right point in the making of Scotch, well, that may be a different story??

          4. 5thDrawer Avatar

            The Glen wouldn’t dare. πŸ˜‰
            β€œThe use of natamycin, which dairy plants admitted to adding, is against the standard specifications set by Lebanon,” it said, adding that although natamycin was used in some countries for surface treatment of cheese, the agent β€œshould not be mixed with labneh.”
            Last week, media reports that natamycin traces had been found in labneh products from at least two factories caused uproar over what is only the most recent in a series of food-related health scares to sweep the country.
            Natamycin, also known as pimaricin and sometimes sold as Natacyn, is a naturally occurring substance produced during fermentation by bacteria found in soil.

      2. Hannibal Avatar


  2. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Finally … a week later (or years later) the Labneh story surfaces. Thumb UP.

  3. Hannibal Avatar

    Now I know why I glow at night… πŸ˜‰

  4. lebanesesam Avatar

    Natamycin is actually good – what the hell is wrong with these people.
    Natamycin has been used for decades in the food industry as a hurdle to fungal outgrowth in dairy products, meats, and other foods. Potential advantages for the usage of natamycin might include the replacement of traditional chemical preservatives, a neutral flavor impact, and less dependence on pH for efficacy, as is common with chemical preservatives. It can be applied in a variety of ways: as an aqueous suspension (such as mixed into a brine) that is sprayed on the product or that the product is dipped into, or in powdered form (along with an anticaking agent such as cellulose) sprinkled on or mixed into the product. While not currently approved for use on meats in the United States, some countries allow natamycin to be applied to the surface of dry and fermented sausages to prevent mold growth on the casing. Also, natamycin is approved for various dairy applications in the United States. More specifically, natamycin is commonly used in products such as cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt and packaged salad mixes.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Good, obviously … when used as directed. We hope. And those that don’t use it ‘as directed’ should be ‘outed’ – as they have done here, it seems to me – maybe a little late.
      It’s the manner of ‘reporting’ of this that creates the paranoia … or the ignoring of ‘factual’ info.
      (excuse me while I wash my sausage…)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *