First Generation of Controlled-Release Bacteriocins/Anti-Microbials

Period of Performance: 01/25/2012 - 07/31/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Metna Co.
1926 Turner Street Array
Lansing, MI 48906
Principal Investigator


Food safety has become an increasingly important international concern; it is also a critical issue for the Warfighter who is encountering growing bioterrorism and proliferation of foodborne illnesses. Biopreservation is a technique used to increase shelf life and food safety through natural, biological methods, and could resolve some major food-related issues. Among the wide spectrum of antibacterial products based on microorganisms, the bacteriocins have attracted the greatest attention for food preservation; their use, however, is still limited due to complicated factors, including interaction with the foods, low solubility at high pH, and short shelf life. This project will develop and commercialize a new generation of controlled-release bacteriocins/anti-microbials with nanoencapsulation using biodegradable polymers to advance biopreservation for improving food safety. The project will specifically target effective inhibition of a broad range of spoilage bacteria, pathogens and spores over the extended shelf life of ration components used for military feeding. The following objectives will be achieved in the Phase I effort: i) identification of viable potential bacteriocins/anti-microbials complexes for effective killing of both Gram-negative and Gram-positive foodborne pathogens; ii) development of nanoencapsulated bacteriocins/anti-microbials, and thorough assessment of their antimicrobial activity; and iii) modeling the in-vitro release of nanoencapsulated bacterocins/anti-microbials.