Global demand for food is expected to grow by 70% in the next 30 years, which will require a substantial increase of bacteriologically safe food production. Many of pathogenic bacterial strains transmitted in the food chain are antibiotic-resistant and even application of current food preservation technologies does not reduce horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes.
Enzybiotics (antimicrobial enzymes), proposed in this project, which specifically target only pathogenic bacteria can be alternative infection prevention and food preservation methods. Moreover, resistance development to enzybiotics is much less probable due to highly conserved bacterial cell wall structures they target. Enzybiotics are considered to be safe for humans and animals (they do not target other cells then pathogenic bacteria) but also safe for the environment (they are biodegradable and non-corrosive).
We propose to apply enzybiotics in: I) primary animal production step (e.g. in salmon aquaculture) to prevent bacterial infections, II) food processing environments as bacterial control agents, III) in food as food preservatives. Such novel approach not only improve animal welfare, quality and safety of food but also reduce environmental cost of extensive food production by minimizing the spread of antibiotics, chemicals and antibiotic resistance genes in then environment. It may subsequently reduce overall food waste generation. Altogether, new technology proposed here will substantially improve sensible exploitation of natural resources by the food industry and be a part of sustainable and safe food production systems for the future.