Encapsulation and controlled release of bacteriophages for food protection using electrospun nanofibers

; ; ; ; (). Encapsulation and controlled release of bacteriophages for food protection using electrospun nanofibers. NART 2015, Nanofibers, Applications and Related Technologies. Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-80-7494-265-5 49-56. Peer reviewed.

Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses of bacteria and the natural antagonists of pathogens and spoilage organisms. Using bacteriophages to control undesirable bacteria in food has many advantages: (a) the high host specificity of the phage does not affect the natural microbial flora of the products, (b) phages affect neither texture nor structure and organoleptic properties of a food, (c) phages are one of the few sustainable alternatives to antibiotics, and (d) work with bacteriophage is cost saving, since simple microbiological methods can be used.

For industrial applications, the bacteriophages should be immobilized. Apromising but scarcely investigated approach is their encapsulation into electrospun nanofibers, since alternative immobilization techniques such as encapsulation or suspension have negative effects on the activity of the bacteriophage. We found for phages from different families – namely TK 611 (Siphoviridae), S16 and F01-E2 (Myoviridae) and L1 and S6 (Podoviridae) – that their survival rate was independent from the family but a large variation within the same family of almost 2 orders of magnitude was observed. It was shown that viability was mostly lost during the nanofiber formation process – presumably due to desiccation.