An ever-growing demand for food products with minimal chemical additives has generated a necessity for exploring new alternatives for food preservation. In this context, more recently, bacteriocins, the peptides having antimicrobial property, synthesized ribosomally by numerous bacteria have been attracting a lot of attention. They are known to possess the potential to restrict the growth of microorganisms causing food spoilage without causing any harm to the bacteria themselves owing to the presence of self-defensive proteins. In particular, the bacteriocins of lactic acid bacteria have been considered harmless and safe for consumption and are indicated to evade the development of unwanted bacteria. Use of bacteriocins as biopreservatives has been studied in various food industries, and they have been established to elevate the shelf life of minimally processed food items by exerting killing mechanism. They restrict the growth of undesirable bacteria by breaking the target cell membrane and finally resulting into pore formation. The current article provides an insight on bacteriocins of lactic acid bacteria, their biosynthesis, mechanism of action, and promising applications of these antimicrobial peptides in the food sector.
Part of the book: Biomimetics