While much of the applied research carried out to date with bacteriocins has concerned nisin, lactococci produce other bacteriocins with economic potential. An example is the two component bacteriocin lacticin 3147, which is active over a wide pH range and has a broad spectrum of activity against gram-positive bacteria. Since the genetic determinants for lacticin 3147 are encoded on a large self-transmissible plasmid, the bacteriocin genes may be conveniently transferred to different lactococcal starters. The resulting food-grade strains can then be used to make a significant impact on the safety and quality of a variety of fermented foods, through the inhibition of undesirable microflora. The bacteriocin is heat stable so it can also be used as an ingredient in a powdered form such as a spray-dried fermentate. Given the observation that lacticin 3147 is effective at physiological pH, there is also considerable potential for biomedical applications. Field trials have demonstrated its efficacy in the prevention of mastitis infections in dairy cows. In contrast to lacticin 3147, the lactococcin bacteriocins A, B and M have a narrow spectrum of activity limited to lactococci. Strains which produce these inhibitors can be exploited in the acceleration of cheese ripening by assisting the premature lysis of starter cultures.