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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13F462 Teagasc (UCC, TCD) €997,140

Project Title:

Natural peptides to enhance food quality and safety

Project Coordinator:

Dr Mary Rea

Project Abstract

Food processors are facing an extraordinary dilemma as they try to address consumer demands for healthy, minimally-processed foods, while, paradoxically, being required to meet ever-increasing microbial safety standards. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), such as novel bacteriocins and defensins, offer viable solutions to the development of natural food biopreseratives to replace the current market leader Nisin A, by providing better activity against food spoilage and pathogenic bacteria. The participants of the proposed research project have patented a number of novel peptides including variants of Nisin A, Bactofencin LS1, and human α-defensin 3 (HBD3) which display potent activity against several Gram positive and negative bacteria, including Listeria and Staphylococcus, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus species. Recent studies establish that the combined use of the powerful bacteriocin, Lacticin 3147, with other antimicrobials can address major microbe-related food safety issues. Additionally HBD3 produced in situ has been shown to prevent bacterial contamination during the brewing process. The proposed research expands on these findings and aims to characterise the available AMPs through combination-based approaches and to identify additional antimicrobial peptides. Other tasks focused on larger food-based studies, scaling up of peptide production and the formation of a steering group to advise with respect to regulatory issues are required to facilitate commercialisation of these novel AMPs.

Final Report:

Not available yet.