Nisin is a bacteriosin peptide made up of 34 amino acid residues that contain uncommon amino acids such as lanthionine and didehydroalanine. It is a substance produced by both gram positive and gram negative bacteria to control the growth of other bacteria species to reduce competition for substrate and space. Nisin has received attention from researchers making it the most exploited bacteriosin (Shetty, Pometto and Levin, 2006). The attention from bacteriologist is due to its effects against gram positive bacteria that are usually common food spoilers and pathogenic. Industrial microbiologists have; therefore, studied nisin and derived a lot of applications that matches with its properties (Taormina, 2013). …show more content…
The possibility of its industrial application as a food preservative was first suggested in 1951 by Hirsch and his colleges. In England, nisin has been used for industrial application since 1966 for food preservation while its application in the United States started in 1988. Today, it is recognized as a safe food preservative in over 50 countries across the globe with full approval from all the relevant regulatory bodies (Riley, 2007a).
Nisin is a unique bacteriosin due to its selective effects against certain microorganisms that are either pathogenic or food spoiler. They are particularly effective against lactic acid bacteria that are a common agent of food spoilage, especially in dairy products (Rai, 2011). Also, the nicin is effective against pathogenic microbes such as Listeria monocytogenes and Clostridium botulinum (Dworkin and Falkow, 2006).
Additionally, nisin is a stable under higher temperatures that pathogenic and food spoiling microorganisms cannot survive. Nisin is stable at 121˚C, a temperature where food products such as milk can be sterilized. This ensures that the food products can receive heat treatment without destabilizing the …show more content…
Nisin is incorporated in the milk products during production to increase its shelf life due to the suppression of the gram positive lactic acid bacteria responsible for milk product spoilage. The application of nisin in food products depend on the food type since the spoilage of each food product is cause by a particular microorganism. Also, the regulatory measures control the way and amount of nisin use in the food products to ensure safety. Here, the same anti-bacterial effects employed in the preservation of milk products is used. Recently, its effects on spore forming microorganism has led to its application in the preservation of hot baked products and pasteurized liquid egg (Barredo,