Project AMP Food
Recent proof of concept studies on model matrices have indicated that antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from insects may efficiently inhibit the proliferation of Gram negative bacteria. They may thus contribute to minimizing food and feed spoilage and reduce the risk of food infections or intoxications for consumers and livestock. Insects will be reared on readily available side streams of the agricultural and food industry located in Frankfurt/ the RheinMain area, and their AMPs will be extracted from the larvae. The AMPs derived from insects will be evaluated for their potential use as novel preservatives for food and feed applications. In addition, the most efficient AMPs will be produced by heterologous expression in an appropriate host and biochemically characterized. For both, native and recombinant AMPs, an efficient downstream processing procedure will be established to generate sufficient amounts of AMPs for application tests at the project partners.
Insect-AMPs can be integrated into current food production processes and value chains by acting on Gram negative bacteria through bactericidal activity, while they are not affecting (Gram positive) starter cultures used in the food industry.
Feasibility studies in complex food and feed systems for better utilization of regional biogenic material streams will be carried out, and AMPs shall be established as a new family of substances for food and feed preservation. A comprehensive analysis of the preservative activity of AMPs in diverse food and feed systems, as well as their technological and sensory properties, is planned.