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Annual Review of Food Science and Technology
Vol. 5, 2014; Page: 327 - 349

Phage Therapy in the Food Industry

Lorraine Endersen, Jim O'Mahony, Colin Hill, R. Paul Ross, Olivia McAuliffe, and Aidan Coffey

Department of Biological Sciences, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland.

Abstract

Despite advances in modern technologies, the food industry is continuously challenged with the threat of microbial contamination. The overuse of antibiotics has further escalated this problem, resulting in the increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant foodborne pathogens. Efforts to develop new methods for controlling microbial contamination in food and the food processing environment are extremely important. Accordingly, bacteriophages (phages) and their derivatives have emerged as novel, viable, and safe options for the prevention, treatment, and/or eradication of these contaminants in a range of foods and food processing environments. Whole phages, modified phages, and their derivatives are discussed in terms of current uses and future potential as antimicrobials in the traditional farm-to-fork context, encompassing areas such as primary production, postharvest processing, biosanitation, and biodetection. The review also presents some safety concerns to ensure safe and effective exploitation of bacteriophages in the future.

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