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Novel Natural Antimicrobial Peptides; Potential Solution for Chronic and Emerging Food Safety Problems – IFSN Seminar

Dr. Ahmed E. Yousef, Professor of Food Microbiology at The Ohio State University presented “Novel natural antimicrobial peptides; potential solution for chronic and emerging food safety problems” on 24 May 2016. This seminar has been approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration for 1.0 Continuing Professional Education Unit (CEU).*

This seminar is part of the Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition (IFSN) Seminar Series. These monthly seminars aim to disseminate new knowledge; engage with partners and stakeholders; and inspire the next generation of food safety and nutrition experts. For full information on the series, visit the seminar webpage.


Harmful foodborne microorganisms are gaining resistances to conventional processes designed to produce safe food. For example, pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms with resistance to antimicrobial additives have been reported recently. Additionally, concern is raised about continued use of additives with questionable safety record. The failure to address these problems today puts into question the safety of future food supply. There is a need, undoubtedly, for effective approaches to combat evolving processing-resistant pathogens as well as persistent spoilage microorganisms. One of these approaches explores the use of new antimicrobial peptides produced by microorganisms of food or environmental origin. Among many newly-discovered natural antimicrobial agents, lantibiotics and lipopeptides may be considered ideal replacements for current food preservatives. Lantibiotics are lanthionine-containing ribosomally-synthesized antimicrobial peptides produced by strains of Gram-positive bacteria, including those of food origin. Some of the newly discovered lantibiotics are effective against Listeria, clostridia, Mycobacterium and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Lipopeptides also have been known for many decades, but interest in this category is rising. These are non-ribosomally synthesized compounds which are active against a wide range of bacteria and fungi. Some lipopeptides are effective against viruses and pathogenic members of Enterobacteriaceae. Hurdles facing the implementation of these new antimicrobial peptides and lipopeptides will be discussed. Additionally, the need for collaboration to advance this line of research will be emphasized.

*Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) or Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered (NDTRs) who view this recorded seminar and wish to receive the CEU certificate please e-mail Mallory M. Koenings.

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