mayo 2022

Biofilm and Food: Well-and Lesser-Known Interactionst

Marilena Budroni, María-Jesús Torija, Jaime Moreno-García, Giacomo Zara


Microbial biofilms are highly structured microbial communities attached to a surface and enclosed within self-produced extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Biofilm formation is considered a survival strategy that allows microbial cells to overcome many different stresses, among which high ethanol and salt concentrations, low pH, and low water activity. Thus, biofilms are tenacious structures that have different implications in food processing. On the one hand, the biofilm formed by pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms on food products, or food contact surfaces, leads to serious hygienic problems and economic losses due to direct spoilage, cross-contamination, and post-processing contamination. In addition, biofilm cells are dramatically different from planktonic cells and display higher resistance to the commonly used sanitizers and antimicrobial agents. Considering biofilms as a reservoir of negative microbial species, recent research efforts have been directed toward the identification of proper sanitation strategies and novel inhibitory substances to eliminate negative biofilm in a more effective, economic, and sustainable way.