Consumers are increasingly demanding food that is free from pathogens,but with less preservatives and additives. As a response to theseconflicting demands, current trends in the food industry include minimalprocessing, and the investigation of alternative inhibitors for use in foods.Additionally, the manufacture of an increasing range of novel foods, andthe inclusion of non-dairy ingredients into dairy products, and vice versa,poses additional dangers with respect to safety. Furthermore, the dramaticincrease in incidence of food-borne illness internationally, as a result ofcontamination with food-borne pathogens such as Listeriamonocytogenes, is a cause of considerable consumer concern.Bacteriocins are inhibitory peptides produced by a number of Lactic AcidBacteria which are capable of killing other bacteria. These naturalinhibitors have widespread applications in the preservation of foods, sincethey can kill a number of pathogenic and spoilage bacteria.The broad spectrum bacteriocin Lacticin 3147 (discovered in a previousproject and patented - see DPRC No. 3) is produced by Lactococcus lactissubsp. lactis DPC3147, a food-grade strain, similar to strains used forcommercial cheese manufacture. Lacticin 3147 is effective in theinhibition of all Gram positive bacteria tested including the foodpathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus and foodspoilage bacteria such as Clostridia and Bacillus species.As part of this project the bacteriocin Lacticin 3147 was assessed as a foodpreservative for improving food safety via inhibition of pathogenicorganisms.Thus the project plan followed a "twin-track" approach to assessing andcontrolling the food safety aspects of Irish food. The first of these was designed to investigate the current safety status ofIrish dairy products.The second approach involved an attempt to exploit natural antimicrobialsubstances, including Lacticin 3147, to protect foods from pathogenicbacteria.
Teagasc End-of-Project Reports
Food Programme End of Project Reports