Screening of Lactic Acid Bacteria for the Bio-Control of Botrytis cinerea and the Potential of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum for Eco-Friendly Preservation of Fresh-Cut Kiwifruit
Botrytis cinerea, responsible for grey mold, represents the first biological cause of fruit and vegetable spoilage phenomena in post-harvest. Kiwifruit is a climacteric fruit particularly prone to this mold infestation during storage. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are food-grade bacteria that can synthesize several metabolites with antimicrobial activity and are, therefore, suggested as promising and eco-friendly resources for the bio-control of molds on fruits and vegetables. In this work, we
... n this work, we propose the screening of a collection of 300 LAB previously isolated from traditional sourdoughs for their ability to counteract in vitro the growth of Botrytis cinerea CECT 20973. Only 2% of tested LAB strains belonging to Lactiplantibacillus plantarum species, exerted a strong antagonism against B. cinerea. The cell-free supernatants were partially characterized and results clearly indicated that high levels of lactic acid contributed to the antagonistic activity. PAN01 and UFG 121 cell-free supernatants were investigated as potential bio-control agents in a preliminary in vivo assay using freshly cut kiwifruits as a food model. The application of cell-free supernatants allowed to delay the growth of B. cinerea on artificially contaminated kiwifruits until two weeks. The antagonistic activity was greatly affected by the storage temperature (25 °C and 4 °C) selected for the processed fruits, suggesting the importance to include microbial-based solution in a broader framework of hurdle technologies.