Bacteriocins are antimicrobial peptides produced by bacteria and are active against other bacteria, either in the same species or across genera. These substances have been a growing interest especially for their potential use both in the clinical, and in the food technology field. To complete the picture concerning the application of these antimicrobial molecules, it should be noted also the use of bacterial cultures producing bacteriocin in quality of "probiotics ". Currently there are very few studies concerning the effects of probiotics on the pathogens involved in oral disease. The purpose of the project is therefore the selection of new probiotics with identification and characterization of bacteriocins produced by them, which can be used for the production of chewing gum to counteract the development of pathogens in the oral cavity (eg caries, periodontitis, halitosis, infections, mycoses, etc..).
The innovative aspect of the research, therefore, is the identification and characterization of bacteriocins responsible probiotic activity, as well as the verification of the viability of probiotics after exposure of food additives used for the production of chewing gum with beneficial effect on the health of the oral cavity.
The selection of bacterial strains and the large-scale production of probiotics and the final commercial product (chewing gum) will be made in the company (Sintal Group srl) while the Laboratory of Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry analysis (Dept. of Biotechnology, University of Verona) will perform the experiments to produce, purify and characterize the bacteriocins. The methodologies of this project will be those typical of microbiological and analytical chemistry, which involves the application of instrumental techniques and methods (such as eg. spectroscopy, chromatography, electrophoresis, and mass spectrometry as provided in this project) for determining qualitative and quantitative composition of chemical systems in biology.