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Background and objectives: Food can be contaminated with Escherichia (E.) coli along the food chain as a result of hygienic deficiencies. The use of bacteriocins provides a possible way to reduce the number of E. coli in food. Bacteriocins are proteins that are produced by almost all bacteria to lyse strains of the same and closely related species.
Materials and methods: The efficacy of bacteriocins to reduce the number of E. coli was analyzed at 4 °C in medium. Therefore, the indicator strain E. coli DH5α was mixed with bacteriocin concentrate and E. coli cell numbers were determined after different timepoints.
Results: Initial experiments showed a 6 log reduction of E. coli cell numbers after 15 min at 4°C with an initial cell number of 107 to 108 CFU/ml. After bacteriocin treatment, E. coli cell numbers remained constant with 102 to 103 CFU/ml for up to 24 h at 4°C.
Conclusion: Thus, bacteriocins could be an effective agent for decontamination of food under cooling temperatures.