Coast to Coast earns FDA consent to use antimicrobial technology in egg wash

pHarlo process to be used as disinfection agent in egg processing. In addition, Tasker Products' proposed acquisition of Coast to Coast, pHarlo Citrus Technologies and Indian River Labs expected to close shortly...

PALM HARBOR, FL, April 5, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) -- Coast to Coast Laboratories LLC, a developer and marketer of pre-harvest uses of an antimicrobial technology in food processing, announced it received written acknowledgement from the Department of Human Health Services of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stating that its egg wash product is acceptable for use in egg processing.

The federal agency stated that the company's pHarlo egg process product consisted of ingredients that were either generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA or were food additives, such as soybean oil and purified water. The agency further commented that the facilities used in the formulation of the egg wash product must be Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facilities. Indian River Labs, the operator of the facilities producing the product for Coast to Coast, is GMP compliant.

Coast to Coast and its affiliated companies, pHarlo Citrus Technologies, the creator of the pHarlo technology, and Indian River Labs (IRL), the blender of pHarlo concentrate, have agreed to sell certain assets to Tasker Capital Corp. in a stock and cash transaction that's expected to be completed shortly. As part of the proposed acquisition, Tasker will secure the rights to a number of new product areas including pre-harvest food processing and water treatment.

Robert Appleby, Tasker's president and CEO, commented, "The use of pHarlo technology as an egg wash should result in a more sanitary product reaching the consumers. Handling an egg that may have bacteria on its shell while preparing food can lead to cross contamination. Use of the pHarlo technology during this process should significantly reduce the risk to consumers.

"Coast to Coast has the egg wash in final testing with ABC Labs, a contract research company supporting U.S. and global product registrations for the agricultural industry, to determine the optimum balance of ingredients," he added. "The egg wash is expected to enter commercial testing soon and, if results confirm the data from its preliminary studies, it is expected to be available for commercial use over the next eight to ten weeks."

The egg industry is extensive with about 74 billion eggs produced in the U.S. in 2003. The industry is comprised of over 260 egg producing companies, of which 64 have over a million laying hens, including 11 that have over 5 million layers. According to 2003 data, of 206.9 million cases of shell eggs produced, about 61% are sold retail to consumers, and the remaining 39% were further processed (foodservice, manufactures, etc.) or exported.

Danbury, Conn.-based Tasker Products (www.taskerproducts.com) is a manufacturer, distributor and marketer of products using a unique, licensed patented process that utilizes a highly charged, acidified, yet stable and safe solution that enables copper sulfate, widely known for its bacteriostatic properties to remain active throughout a wide range of pH values. The company is continuing its clinical research and development of future products in the oral care, food processing, skin care and pet products industries.

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