Research – The Use of Natural Methods to Control Foodborne Biofilms

MDPI

Abstract

Biofilms are large aggregates of various species of bacteria or other microorganisms tightly attached to surfaces through an intricate extracellular matrix. These complex microbial communities present quite the challenge in the food processing industry, as conditions such as raw meats and diverse food product content in contact with workers, drains, machinery, and ventilation systems, make for prime circumstances for contamination. Adding to the challenge is the highly resistant nature of these biofilm growths and the need to keep in mind that any antimicrobials utilized in these situations risk health implications with human consumption of the products that are being processed in these locations. For that reason, the ideal means of sanitizing areas of foodborne biofilms would be natural means. Herein, we review a series of innovative natural methods of targeting foodborne biofilms, including bacteriocins, bacteriophages, fungi, phytochemicals, plant extracts, essential oils, gaseous and aqueous control, photocatalysis, enzymatic treatments, and ultrasound mechanisms.

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