Category Archives: lactic acid bacteria

Research – Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of lactic acid to reduce microbiological surface contamination on carcases from kangaroos, wild pigs, goats and sheep


Studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of lactic acid to reduce microbiological surface contamination from carcases of wild game (i.e. kangaroos and wild pigs) and small stock (i.e. goats and sheep) before chilling at the slaughterhouse were assessed. Wild pig and kangaroo hide‐on carcases may have been chilled before they arrive at the slaughterhouse and are treated after removal of the hides. Lactic acid solutions (2–5%) are applied to the carcases at temperatures of up to 55°C by spraying or misting. The treatment lasts 6–7 s per carcass side. The Panel concluded that: [1] the treatment is of no safety concern, provided that the lactic acid complies with the European Union specifications for food additives; [2] based on the available evidence, it was not possible to conclude on the efficacy of spraying or misting lactic acid on kangaroo, wild pig, goats and sheep carcases; [3] treatment of the above‐mentioned carcases with lactic acid may induce reduced susceptibility to the same substance, but this can be minimised; there is currently no evidence that prior exposure of food‐borne pathogens to lactic acid leads to the occurrence of resistance levels that compromise antimicrobial therapy; and [4] the release of lactic acid is not of concern for the environment, assuming that wastewaters released by the slaughterhouses are treated on‐site, if necessary, to counter the potentially low pH caused by lactic acid, in compliance with local rules.

Research – Determination of Listeria monocytogenes, competitive microflora, microbial hygiene indicators and physico-chemical parameters during the shelf-life of the typical Mediterranean style fermented sausage “Salsiccia Sarda”

Journal of Food Protection

The aim of the present study was the determination of Listeria monocytogenes , competitive microbiota, microbial hygiene indicators and physico-chemical parameters in the typical Mediterranean Style fermented sausages “Salsiccia Sarda” . A batch of “Salsiccia Sarda” (25 samples) naturally contaminated by L. monocytogenes and vacuum packaged after 24 days of ripening was included in the study. Fifteen samples stored at 8° C were analysed after 13, 90 and lastly at the end of shelf-life, after 180 days from vacuum packaging. Ten vacuum packaged samples were stored at 12°C in a domestic fridge simulating temperature abuse and were evaluated at the end of the shelf-life. Samples were subjected to physico-chemical analysis (pH and aw) and investigated for the presence and enumeration of L. monocytogenes . Competitive microbiota, Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) and Coagulase negative Staphylococci (CNS), and microbial hygiene indicators (Total mesophilic bacterial counts, Enterobacteriaceae, Enterococcuss spp. and Staphylococcus aureus ) were determined in all the samples. Although a decreasing trend in L. monocytogenes prevalence was observed through the shelf-life, the detection of the pathogen in fermented sausages confirms the ability of L. monocytogenes to overcome the hurdles of the manufacturing process. The results of the present study highlight the importance to carefully evaluate the “Salsiccia Sarda” production process by Food Business Operators (FBOs) in order to maintain unfavourable conditions for the growth of L. monocytogenes .

Research – Role of Lactic Acid Bacteria in Food Preservation and Safety


Fermentation of various food stuffs by lactic acid bacteria is one of the oldest forms of food biopreservation. Bacterial antagonism has been recognized for over a century, but in recent years, this phenomenon has received more scientific attention, particularly in the use of various strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Certain strains of LAB demonstrated antimicrobial activity against foodborne pathogens, including bacteria, yeast and filamentous fungi. Furthermore, in recent years, many authors proved that lactic acid bacteria have the ability to neutralize mycotoxin produced by the last group. Antimicrobial activity of lactic acid bacteria is mainly based on the production of metabolites such as lactic acid, organic acids, hydroperoxide and bacteriocins. In addition, some research suggests other mechanisms of antimicrobial activity of LAB against pathogens as well as their toxic metabolites. These properties are very important because of the future possibility to exchange chemical and physical methods of preservation with a biological method based on the lactic acid bacteria and their metabolites. Biopreservation is defined as the extension of shelf life and the increase in food safety by use of controlled microorganisms or their metabolites. This biological method may determine the alternative for the usage of chemical preservatives. In this study, the possibilities of the use of lactic acid bacteria against foodborne pathogens is provided. Our aim is to yield knowledge about lactic acid fermentation and the activity of lactic acid bacteria against pathogenic microorganisms. In addition, we would like to introduce actual information about health aspects associated with the consumption of fermented products, including probiotics.

Research – Plant Extract and Essential Oil Application against Food-Borne Pathogens in Raw Pork Meat


Herbal and plant extracts are being applied for a wide range of foods against different types of food-borne pathogens. In the present study, ethanolic and aqueous extracts (2% w/v) from cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) plants were applied alone or in combination with two essential oils (thyme and oregano in a concentration of 0.150 μg/g) in pork meatballs and their antimicrobial activity was estimated. The extracts exhibited promising results (aqueous and ethanolic extracts of pomegranate and cranberry in a food-compatible concentration of 2% w/v) were applied to raw pork meatball production and their antimicrobial activity was recorded versus Enterobacteriaceae, total mesophilic bacteria, yeasts/molds, Staphylococcus spp., Pseudomonas spp. and lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The outcome demonstrated that meatballs containing aqueous extracts of pomegranate were more resistant to spoilage compared to all the other samples since they were preserved for more days. The chemical profiles of plant extracts were determined through LC-QTOF/MS and the chemical composition of the essential oils applied was determined with the use of GC/MS in order to identify the substances involved in the observed antimicrobial activity. Phenolic acids (quinic acid, chlorogenic acid), monoterpenes (p-cymene, carvacrol, thymol, limonene), organic acids (citric acid) and phenols were the main constituents found in the plant extracts and essential oils applied. These extracts of plant origin could be used as natural preservatives in meat products, even in low concentrations. View Full-Text

Research – Development of Desiccation-Tolerant Probiotic Biofilms Inhibitory for Growth of Foodborne Pathogens on Stainless Steel Surfaces


Lactic acid bacteria biofilms can be used to reduce foodborne pathogen contamination in the food industry. However, studies on growth inhibition of foodborne pathogens by inducing biofilm formation of antagonistic microorganisms on abiotic surfaces are rare. We developed a desiccation-tolerant antimicrobial probiotic biofilm. Lactobacillus sakei M129-1 and Pediococcus pentosaceus M132-2 isolated from fermented Korean foods were found to exhibit broad-spectrum antibacterial activity against Bacillus cereusEscherichia coli O157:H7, Staphylococcus aureusListeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. Their biofilm levels were significantly (p < 0.05) higher on stainless steel than on polyethylene or ceramic. Biofilms of both isolates showed significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced resistance against desiccation (exposure to 43% atmospheric relative humidity) as compared with the isolates not in the biofilm form. The antimicrobial activity of the isolates was sustained in dried biofilms on stainless steel surface; the initial number of foodborne pathogens (average 7.0 log CFU/mL), inoculated on stainless steel chips containing L. sakei M129-1 or P. pentosaceus M132-2 biofilm decreased to less than 1.0 log CFU within 48 h. The lactic acid bacteria antibacterial biofilms developed in this study may be applied to desiccated environmental surfaces in food-related environments to improve microbiological food safety. View Full-Text

Research – Enhanced antimicrobial activity against Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris in apple juice by genome shuffling of Lactobacillus acidophilus NX2-6

Wiley Online

Food safety and quality are seriously compromised by the growth of spoilage bacteria in food. Various lactic acid bacteria (LAB) may inhibit the growth of spoilage bacteria in food and animal feed. In our study, the antibacterial activity of Lactobacillus acidophilus NX2-6 was improved by genome shuffling. The starting populations were obtained via 60Coγ-ray, diethyl sulfate mutagenesis, and UV mutagenesis of protoplasts. The optimal conditions for protoplast formation and regeneration were found to be 30 mg/ml of lysozyme at 37°C for 40 min. The protoplasts were inactivated by UV irradiation for 110 s or by heating at 58°C for 30 min. After two rounds of genome shuffling, the inhibitory activity of strain F50 was improved by 5.6-fold compared to the original strain. The shuffled strain has broad-spectrum antibacterial activity and is a promising candidate for bio-preservative. The antibacterial substances produced by L. acidophilus NX2-6 can be applied to the preservation of apple juice. The results showed that the growth of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris in apple juice was significantly inhibited by the addition of 0.1% culture supernatant with acidocin NX2-6 at 28°C and 0.2% culture supernatant with acidocin NX2-6 at 45°C for 30 days. The sugar−acid ratio, pH value, clarity, and fruit flavor of apple juice were well maintained during storage. This study showed that genome shuffling was an effective strategy to improve the bacterial inhibitory activity of LAB and that the shuffled LAB and their metabolites are expected to be used as bio-based food protectors for food safety.

Research – Strategies for Biocontrol of Listeria monocytogenes Using Lactic Acid Bacteria and Their Metabolites in Ready-To-Eat Meat- and Dairy-Ripened Products


Listeria monocytogenes is one of the most important foodborne pathogens. This microorganism is a serious concern in the ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and dairy-ripened products industries. The use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB)-producing anti-L. monocytogenes peptides (bacteriocins) and/or lactic acid and/or other antimicrobial system could be a promising tool to control this pathogen in RTE meat and dairy products. This review provides an up to date about the strategies of use of LAB and their metabolites in RTE meat products and dairy foods by selecting the most appropriate strains, by analysing the mechanism by which they inhibit L. monocytogenes and methods of effective application of LAB, and their metabolites in these kinds of products to control this pathogen throughout the processing and storage. The selection of LAB with anti-L. monocytogenes activity allows to dispose of effective strains in meat and dairy-ripened products, achieving reductions form 2–5 logarithmic cycles of this pathogen throughout the ripening process. The combination of selected LAB strains with antimicrobial compounds, such as acid/sodium lactate and other strategies, as the active packaging could be the next future innovation for eliminating risk of L. monocytogenes in meat and dairy-ripened products.

Research – Antifungal Preservation of Food by Lactic Acid Bacteria



Image CDC

Fungal growth and consequent mycotoxin release in food and feed threatens human health, which might even, in acute cases, lead to death. Control and prevention of foodborne poisoning is a major task of public health that will be faced in the 21st century. Nowadays, consumers increasingly demand healthier and more natural food with minimal use of chemical preservatives, whose negative effects on human health are well known. Biopreservation is among the safest and most reliable methods for inhibiting fungi in food. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are of great interest as biological additives in food owing to their Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) classification and probiotic properties. LAB produce bioactive compounds such as reuterin, cyclic peptides, fatty acids, etc., with antifungal properties. This review highlights the great potential of LAB as biopreservatives by summarizing various reported antifungal activities/metabolites of LAB against fungal growth into foods. In the end, it provides profound insight into the possibilities and different factors to be considered in the application of LAB in different foods as well as enhancing their efficiency in biodetoxification and biopreservative activities. View Full-Text

Research – Lactic Acid Bacteria as Antimicrobial Agents: Food Safety and Microbial Food Spoilage Prevention


In the wake of continual foodborne disease outbreaks in recent years, it is critical to focus on strategies that protect public health and reduce the incidence of foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms. Currently, there are limitations associated with conventional microbial control methods, such as the use of chemical preservatives and heat treatments. For example, such conventional treatments adversely impact the sensorial properties of food, resulting in undesirable organoleptic characteristics. Moreover, the growing consumer advocacy for safe and healthy food products, and the resultant paradigm shift toward clean labels, have caused an increased interest in natural and effective antimicrobial alternatives. For instance, natural antimicrobial elements synthesized by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are generally inhibitory to pathogens and significantly impede the action of food spoilage organisms. Bacteriocins and other LAB metabolites have been commercially exploited for their antimicrobial properties and used in many applications in the dairy industry to prevent the growth of undesirable microorganisms. In this review, we summarized the natural antimicrobial compounds produced by LAB, with a specific focus on the mechanisms of action and applications for microbial food spoilage prevention and disease control. In addition, we provide support in the review for our recommendation for the application of LAB as a potential alternative antimicrobial strategy for addressing the challenges posed by antibiotic resistance among pathogens. View Full-Text

Research – Characterization of bacteria and antibiotic resistance in commercially-produced cheeses sold in China

Journal of Food Protection

The consumption of cheese in China is increasing rapidly. Little is known about the microbiota, the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or the distribution of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in commercially-produced cheeses sold in China. These are important criteria for evaluating quality and safety. Thus, this study assessed the metagenomics of fifteen types of cheese using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Fourteen bacterial genera were detected. Lactococcus , Lactobacillus , and Streptococcus were dominant based on numbers of sequence reads. Multidrug-resistant lactic acid bacteria were isolated from most of the types of cheese. The isolates showed 100% and 91.7% resistance to streptomycin and sulfamethoxazole, respectively, and genes involved in acquired resistance to streptomycin ( strB) and sulfonamides ( sul2) were detected with high frequency. To analyze the distribution of ARGs in the cheeses in overall, 309 ARGs from eight categories of ARG and nine transposase genes were profiled. A total of 169 ARGs were detected in the 15 cheeses; their occurrence and abundance varied significantly between cheeses. Our study demonstrates that there is various diversity of the bacteria and ARGs in cheeses sold in China. The risks associated with multidrug resistance of dominant lactic acid bacteria are of great concern.