Maltster’s plant harbours antibiotics potential

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Muntons: has sent digestate to Dr Adam Roberts at University College London for analysis
Muntons: has sent digestate to Dr Adam Roberts at University College London for analysis

Related tags: Anaerobic digestion, Antibiotic resistance

A Suffolk maltster is investigating the potential that its anaerobic digestion (AD) plant is producing antibiotics that could potentially be developed as a medicine to combat Micrococcus and drug resistant E.coli.

Muntons, a malt and malted ingredients producer based in Stowmarket, has sent digestate to Dr Adam Roberts at University College London who analysed it as part of his ‘Swab and Send’ project.

Find new antibiotics

The project aimed to find new antibiotics that could be developed by asking the public to swab their everyday environment and send them in for analysis by his laboratory.

Further research is being undertaken as part of the Swab and Send Project to first identify the strain of bacteria found and, subsequently, the compound that is producing it, to determine if it is novel.

Generally, there has been a growing health concern that a number of so-called ‘superbugs’, are becoming resistant to existing antibiotics.

Muntons environment manager Ryland Cairns recognised that there could be potential to find some good bacteria due to their “unique feedstock within their award-winning AD plant”​.

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