Probiotic: An Alternate Bioagent in Food and Agricultural Industry
Authors: Ajay Kumar*, Aman Jaiswal, Deepak Kumar, Shekher Kumar,
Division of Microbiology, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi (India) 110 012


  • The term Probiotic was coined in 1965 by Lilly and Stillwell.
  • The term derived from Latin preposition ‘pro’ and Greek adjective ‘bios’ meaning “FOR LIFE”.
  • Organism and substances that have a beneficial effect on the host animal by contributing to its intestinal microbial balance-Parker (1974)
  • Live microbial feed supplement which beneficially affects the host animal by improving its intestinal microbial balance-Fuller (1989)
  • Live organisms which, when administered in adequate amount, confer a health benefit on the host –FAO/WHO (2002)

  • Elie Metkinkoff (1907) gave the Concept of probiotic which modify the gut flora and to replace harmful microbes by useful microbes
  • Henry Tissier (1906) isolated firstly Bifidobacterium from breast fed infants

    What are the Properties of microorganisms to be called as Probiotic
  • Non-pathogenic and non-toxic
  • Able to survive the passage through the digestive system
  • Able to attach to the intestinal epithelia and colonise
  • Able to maintain good viability
  • Capable of exerting a beneficial effect on the host
  • Stability of desired characteristics during processing, storage and transportation

    Probiotic microorganism
  • Lactobacillus spp. are L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. rhamnosus, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, L. paracasei , L. reuteri, L. plantarum, L. gasseri
  • Bifidobacterium spp. are B. bifidum, B. essencis, B. infantis, B. longum, B. lactis, B. breve, B. animalis
Mode of action of probiotic as bioagent

a) Competitive exclusion of pathogenic microorganisms. b)Production of antimicrobial substances.c) Competition for nutrients & growth factors. d) Increase adhesion to intestinal mucosa. e) Enhanced epithelial barrier function. f) Enhanced IgA secretion (Immune stimulation)

Role of probiotics as bio-control agents on food and food contact surfaces

Vegetables and fresh fruits

The consumption of vegetables and fresh fruits is beneficial for health because they contain nutrients that are vital substances in the human diet; there is proof that they provide definite benefits after ingestion. The consumption of nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables has been increasing, but these foods may be contaminated or colonized by pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and other species. Foods containing such pathogens can cause foodborne outbreaks in a population. Schuenzel and Harrison (2002) claim that applying cultures with inhibitory properties can increase the shelf-life of vegetables and improve the safety of these products.

Fermented foods

Cheese is one of the most popular fermented milk-based food products, consumed by many people around the world. Cheese can be an important source for probiotic candidates isolation. Caggia, De Angelis, Pitino, Pino, and Randazzo (2015) demonstrated that the probiotic strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus FS10 and Lactobacillus paracasei PM8, both isolated from cheese, exhibited in vitro antimicrobial activity against Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, and Staphylococcus aureus foodborne pathogens.

Meat products

Meat and meat products are good platforms for the growth of microorganisms (Galvez, Abriouel, Benomar, & Lucas, 2010); therefore, many probiotic strains are used as starter cultures in meat processing. Numerous studies have shown that probiotic strains can inhibit foodborne patho

Food-processing plants and surfaces

Biofilm formation and adherence to various food processing surfaces and equipment by harmful microorganisms is a fundamental source of food contamination leading to foodborne diseases. Probiotic microorganisms can reduce biofilms within various foodprocessing plants and on surfaces. Zhao et al. (2013) demonstrated that two LAB probiotic strains, Enterococcus durans strain 152 and Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis strain C-1-92, could potentially decrease Listeria monocytogenes biofilms in the floor drains of a ready-to-eat poultry


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