Current Opinion in Biotechnology vol:22 issue:2 pages:164-171
Bacterial cell wall hydrolases (BCWHs) display a remarkable structural and functional diversity that offers perspectives for novel food applications, reaching beyond those of the archetype BCWH and established biopreservative hen egg white lysozyme. Insights in BCWHs from bacteriophages to animals have provided concepts for tailoring BCWHs to target specific pathogens or spoilage bacteria, or, conversely, to expand their working range to Gram-negative bacteria. Genetically modified foods expressing BCWHs in situ showed successful, but face regulatory and ethical concerns. An interesting spin-off development is the use of cell wall binding domains of bacteriophage BCWHs for detection and removal of foodborne pathogens. Besides for improving food safety or stability, BCWHs may also find use as functional food ingredients with specific health effects.