Going Biofilm-free

November 4/Journal of Technology & Science -- "Biofilms are a self-protection growth pattern of bacteria, which are different from planktonic cells. They have been of considerable interest in food hygiene since biofilms may contain spoilage and pathogenic bacteria which increases post-processing contamination and risk to public health," researchers in Shanghai, People's Republic of China, report.

"In addition, biofilm cells are more resistant to cleaning and disinfection processes in the food industry. Biofilm formation is a complex process in which genetic mechanisms and numerous factors such as the properties of substratum and bacterial cell surfaces are involved. In order to further understand the intricate mechanisms behind biofilm formation, various techniques -- including physical, chemical and molecular methods -- have been used to establish the possible model of biofilm formation in food industry. Therefore, the importance of bacterial biofilms in food safety control and biofilm formation mechanisms will be discussed in this paper," wrote X.M. Shi and colleagues, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The researchers concluded, "The objective of all efforts is to provide new insights for developing biofilm-free food-processing systems."

Shi and colleagues published their study in Trends in Food Science & Technology ("Biofilm Formation and Food Safety in Food Industries." Trends in Food Science & Technology, 2009;20(9 Sp. Iss.):407-413).

For additional information, contact X.M. Shi, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dept. of Food Science & Technology, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China.

From the November 9, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition