Bacteriophages and Food Fermentations
Eric Emond and Sylvain Moineau
from: Bacteriophage: Genetics and Molecular Biology (Edited by: Stephen Mc Grath and Douwe van Sinderen). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2007)
A broad number of food products, commodity chemicals, and biotechnology products are manufactured industrially by large-scale bacterial fermentation of various organic substrates. Because enormous amounts of bacteria are being cultivated each day in large fermentation vats, the risk that bacteriophage contamination rapidly brings fermentations to a halt and cause economical setbacks is a serious threat in these industries. This chapter describes the relationship between bacteriophages and their bacterial hosts in the context of the food fermentation industry. Sources of phage contamination, measures to control their propagation and dissemination, and biotechnological defence strategies developed to restrain phages are discussed. The primary focus will be given to the dairy fermentation industry because it has openly acknowledged the problem of phage and has been working with academia and starter culture companies to develop defence strategies and systems to curtail the propagation and evolution of phages for decades. Other industries will be discussed where appropriate to highlight their similarities and specificities read more ...