Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2011
Publication Date: 5/20/2012
Citation: Wisniewski, M.E., Droby, D. 2012. Biopreservation of food and feed by postharvest biocontrol with microorganisms. In: Sundh, I., Wilcks, A., and Goettel, M.S., editors. Beneficial Microorganisms in Agriculture, Food and the Environment. CabI, Oxford. p 57-66. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The use of microbial antagonists to control postharvest diseases of fruits, vegetables, and grains has grown in the past twenty years from a novel discovery to a full-fledged science. Research groups worldwide are identifying new microbial isolates, evaluating their potential as postharvest bio-control agents, and seeking to partner with industry. While it was predicted that the success of postharvest bio-control would be relatively easy compared to foliar and soil bio-control agents, (to date) only a few commercial products are available and these are used only on a very limited basis. The reasons for the limited success are several but mainly due to variability in their performance, the availability of several standard and new synthetic fungicides that perform well, and reluctance on the part of end users (packinghouses) to adopt new approaches and methods that may or may not be easy to incorporate into existing practices. In addition, problems associated with the patenting, registration, and large-scale fermentation have also posed difficulties. Despite these challenges, interest in the use of biological approaches to manage postharvest diseases, as well as other agricultural needs, continues to grow. Researchers, regulatory groups, and environmental advocates are coming together to define the problems that need to be addressed and the scientific knowledge that will be needed to address the barriers limiting success. It is anticipated that great strides will be made in the next ten years and that several new products will become available. Additionally, an enlarged definition of biological control will lead to novel approaches to postharvest disease control that are solidly based on a biological foundation.