The use of bacteriocins in the food industry is useful to prevent biofilm formation on different surfaces. These antimicrobial agents can extend the expiration date of a given food as well, protects against alterations during refrigeration, lowers food spoilage, prevents the transmission of foodborne pathogens, diminishes chemical preservative concentrations and reduces the number of temperature treatments.
For example, nisin, a 34 amino acid polycyclic peptide isolated from Lactococcus lactis, has been approved for its antimicrobial activity since 1969 (WHO, World Health Organization) and 1988 (FDA, USA Food and Drug Administration) because the consumption of this peptide is safe for animals and humans. So far, nisin remains the only FDA approved bacteriocin in the food industry. Used as spray on surfaces used for food manufacturing, nisin was able to prevent adhesion and biofilm formation by monocytogenes.
Other bacteriocins have been extensively investigated for preventing bacterial colonization, especially those produced by GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) microorganisms, such as lactic acid bacteria. Some of these novel bacteriocins are pediocins (active against monocytogenesand produced by Enterococcus spp.), lactocins (active against Brochothrix thermosphacta and produced by Lactococcus spp.) and garvicin (produced by Lactococcus garvieae and active against pathogenic strains of this bacterium). Their use does not represent a risk with respect to animal tissues, and therefore, similarly to current nisin, their commercial implementation should not represent a serious issue.
Further reading on bacteriocins
Galié Serena, García-Gutiérrez Coral, Miguélez Elisa M., Villar Claudio J., Lombó Felipe. Biofilms in the Food Industry: Health Aspects and Control Methods. Frontiers in Microbiology, Volume 9, page 898, 2018. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.00898 .
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