In today’s mega‐scale food and feed productions, which involve several processing steps and the use of a variety of ingredients, fungal contamination is regarded as unavoidable, even when good manufacturing practices are followed. Chemical preservatives, to some extent, are successful in retarding microbial growth and achieving considerably longer shelf life. However, the increasing demand for clean label products requires manufacturers to find natural alternatives to replace chemically derived ingredients to guarantee the clean label. A paper published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety (CRFSFS) examines the use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as natural preservatives in food and animal feed to control fungal growth and subsequent mycotoxin production.
LAB species are Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and produce a vast spectrum of antifungal metabolites to inhibit fungal growth. They also have the capacity to adsorb, degrade, or detoxify fungal mycotoxins including ochratoxins, aflatoxins, and Fusarium toxins. The potential of many LAB species to circumvent spoilage associated with fungi has been exploited in a variety of human food and animal feed stuff. This review provides the most recent updates on the ability of LAB to serve as antifungal and anti‐mycotoxigenic agents. In addition, the authors highlight some recent trends of the use of LAB as biopreservative agents against fungal growth and mycotoxin production.