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J Appl Microbiol. 2004;97(2):314-22.

Development of polythene films for food packaging activated with an antilisterial bacteriocin from Lactobacillus curvatus 32Y.

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Dipartimento di Scienza degli Alimenti, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy.



The aims of this work were to (i) use a bacteriocin produced by Lactobacillus curvatus 32Y active against Listeria monocytogenes to activate polythene films by different methods, (ii) implement a large-scale process for antilisterial polythene films production and (iii) verify the efficacy of the developed films in inhibiting the growth of L. monocytogenes during the storage of meat products.


The film was made active by using the antilisterial bacteriocin 32Y by Lact. curvatus with three different procedures: soaking, spraying and coating. The antimicrobial activity of the activated films was tested in plate assays against the indicator strain L. monocytogenes V7. All the used procedures yielded active polythene films although the quality of the inhibition was different. The coating was therefore employed to develop active polythene films in an industrial plant. The antimicrobial activity of the industrially produced films was tested in experiments of food packaging involving pork steak and ground beef contaminated by L. monocytogenes V7 at roughly 10(3) CFU cm(-2) and gram respectively. The results of the challenge tests showed the highest antimicrobial activity after 24 h at 4 degrees C, with a decrease of about 1 log of the L. monocytogenes population.


Antimicrobial packaging can play an important role in reducing the risk of pathogen development, as well as extending the shelf life of foods.


Studies of new food-grade bacteriocins as preservatives and development of suitable systems of bacteriocin treatment of plastic films for food packaging are important issues in applied microbiology and biotechnology, both for implementing and improving effective hurdle technologies for a better preservation of food products.

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