Food preservation through natural methods represents one of the concerns worldwide to solve economic losses due to microbial decomposition of raw materials and foodstuffs. However, public concern over the emergence of strains resistant to many antibiotics, particularly pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella sp. draw much attention as new challenge in food industry is to find new alternative quality-control methods of food products. In Ecuador, the lack of quality control, bad storage condition, and insufficient preservation against spoilage bacteria had at higher extent repercussions on food safety and security. The most frequent pathogens detected in fresh meat and drinks along with traditional local food products, represent a serious problem producing sizable food damage and associated diseases. The capacity of lactobacilli to inhibit pathogens has been recently exploited to prevent microbial spoilage. Here we briefly review the principal biopeptides (i.e., bacteriocins) of lactic acid bacteria, their main mode of action, the classification, and its biotechnological applications. Moreover, we discussed the preliminary results on the evaluation of antimicrobial activity of some native lactic acid bacteria isolated from microbiota of Ecuador against frequent contaminants found in the local market.
Part of the book: Probiotics and Prebiotics in Human Nutrition and Health
Subtropical wild fruits are a reservoir of microbial diversity and represent a potential source of beneficial microorganisms. Wild fruits provide essential nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to human health. Many of these wild fruits are used by indigenous peoples for medicine and food, but there is yet an unexplored potential in the study of their properties and benefits. Wild fruits from the Amazon region and their associated active substances or bacterial communities can prevent disease, provide appropriate nutrition, contribute to new sources of income, and improve lives. Despite its condition as a megabiodiverse country, Ecuador suffers from limited access to its genetic resources, and particularly for research. A total of 41 isolates were obtained from six wild Amazonian fruit species and were molecularly classified into the genera Lactiplantibacillus (31 isolates), Lactococcus (3 isolates), Weissella (3 isolates), and Enterococcus (1 isolate). Three isolates showed large divergence in sequence variability and were not identified by the taxonomic assignment algorithm. Inferred phylogenies on the 16S rRNA gene explained the relationship between lineages and their origin. Carbohydrate metabolism and antimicrobial profiles were evaluated, and the isolates were classified from a functional perspective. Antimicrobial profiles showed a wide-range spectrum against several Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. To our knowledge, this is the first study assessing the diversity of LAB in native tropical fruits from the Amazon region of Ecuador and their promising functional properties. The obtained isolates and their assessed properties are valuable genetic resources to be further investigated for industrial and pharmaceutical applications.
Part of the book: Ecosystem and Biodiversity of Amazonia