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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007;13(4):194-9.

Bacteriocins from lactic acid bacteria: production, purification, and food applications.

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Department of Applied Biological Sciences and Engineering, Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.


In fermented foods, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) display numerous antimicrobial activities. This is mainly due to the production of organic acids, but also of other compounds, such as bacteriocins and antifungal peptides. Several bacteriocins with industrial potential have been purified and characterized. The kinetics of bacteriocin production by LAB in relation to process factors have been studied in detail through mathematical modeling and positive predictive microbiology. Application of bacteriocin-producing starter cultures in sourdough (to increase competitiveness), in fermented sausage (anti-listerial effect), and in cheese (anti-listerial and anti-clostridial effects), have been studied during in vitro laboratory fermentations as well as on pilot-scale level. The highly promising results of these studies underline the important role that functional, bacteriocinogenic LAB strains may play in the food industry as starter cultures, co-cultures, or bioprotective cultures, to improve food quality and safety. In addition, antimicrobial production by probiotic LAB might play a role during in vivo interactions occurring in the human gastrointestinal tract, hence contributing to gut health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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