Andrius Buivydas

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Research Title: IPA-LAB: Improved production of anti-fungal compounds by Lactic Acid Bacteria

Project Summary: Fungal spoilage remains one of the major concerns for the food and feed industry and poses an enormous economic and safety issue throughout the world. It is estimated that 5-10% of all produced food is spoiled and eventually lost due to fungal contaminations. Importantly, certain fungal strains involved in food spoilage may produce mycotoxins which cause severe health issues, such as allergies or toxic responses, while such mycotoxins may also be neurotoxic or act as a carcinogen. Since processed and chemical preservative-containing foods are being progressively refused by ever more discerning consumers, the discovery of novel and natural antifungal compounds and associated development of antifungal preservation approaches is an urgent necessity. Novel LAB strains with potent antifungal properties will be isolated and analysed in detail during IPA-LAB project. The identify and biosynthetic pathway of LAB-produced natural antifungal compounds will be determined, and their activity and potency to diminish fungal spoilage in foods will be evaluated. The most efficacious strains obtained during IPA-LAB project will be employed in industrially relevant practices to provide safer foods to the consumer.

Project aims:

1) Isolation of novel LAB strains with potent antifungal properties and characterization and identification of compounds produced by selected antifungal LAB strains.
2) To employ novel characterized strains for industrially relevant food-manufacturing processes that ultimately will benefit the consumer.