Would you mind if your fruit and vegetables were coated in probiotics to increase shelf life and the overall quality of your produce?
The following paper provides valuable insight into the reality of living preservatives, which can out-preform chemical treatments, are less harmful to the environment, less likely to result in treatment resistant pathogens, cheaper, and have no effect on taste.
Can we say Win, Win Win Win, Win, When?
“Foodborne pathogens are inevitable microorganisms found in fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, mainly associated with foodborne outbreaks, such as listeriosis and salmonellosis. Although chemical control of these pathogens is widely used in the industry, consumer demand for healthy, “more nature”, and ‘free chemical” fresh produce has led the food industry to adopt biological control as an alternative technique to maintain safety and reduce contamination. Protective cultures of LAB and their metabolites play an important role in biocontrol, as their potential inhibitory effects against pathogens are well documented, without changing the sensory properties of foods. In particular, the use of primary metabolites, bacteriocins, both in situ after inoculation to the fresh produce, and by incorporation into edible coatings, is a simple and environmentally friendly biopreservation technique that does not require the use of expensive laboratory equipment. Moreover, the use of bacteriocins and edible films and coatings does not affect the organoleptic characteristics of fruits and vegetables and consumer acceptance. Additionally, as LAB can survive under cold storage temperatures, their metabolites can be used as food bioadditives in preservation of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Characteristics of the producer strain culture, such as technical effectiveness, commercial viability, the applied dose, and the complex mechanisms of action (including membrane permeabilization) are issues that need to be carefully addressed. As foods are complex matrices with varied components, the effectiveness of each biopreservative agent should be evaluated separately.”