Biofilm formation and the food industry, a focus on the bacterial outer surface

Authors

  • R. Van Houdt,

    1.  Unit of Microbiology, Expert Group Molecular and Cellular Biology, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK·CEN), Mol, Belgium
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  • C.W. Michiels

    1.  Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M2S), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
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Chris Michiels, Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M2S), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23, 3001 Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: chris.michiels@biw.kuleuven.be

Summary

The ability of many bacteria to adhere to surfaces and to form biofilms has major implications in a variety of industries including the food industry, where biofilms create a persistent source of contamination. The formation of a biofilm is determined not only by the nature of the attachment surface, but also by the characteristics of the bacterial cell and by environmental factors. This review focuses on the features of the bacterial cell surface such as flagella, surface appendages and polysaccharides that play a role in this process, in particular for bacteria linked to food-processing environments. In addition, some aspects of the attachment surface, biofilm control and eradication will be highlighted.

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