Clean Label, Natural Alternatives of Bacteriocins

Project entitled:

METABIOLAC Industrial Research Chair

Ismail Fliss


  • In the coming decades, the agri-food sector will face a number of challenges, including meeting the food needs of a world population of more than 9 billion individuals in terms of both quality and safety.
  • The new market trends increasingly limit resorting to traditional microbiological barriers such as chemical additives and the use of antibiotics as growth factors in animal production.
  • The discovery of new generations of natural and safer antimicrobials that may be used throughout the food chain represent one of the most promising approaches.
  • The scientific program for this chair includes 4 components focusing on the identification, characterization and exploitation of the antibacterial and antifungal activities of lactic acid bacteria in production and processing sectors.
  • This comprehensive approach with a focus on the dairy sector will help to establish a multidisciplinary scientific framework in the field of protective cultures and natural antimicrobials.
  • The results will constitute the first proof-of-concept of the application of natural bioactive compounds as alternatives to traditional antimicrobials and chemical additives in food production and processing.



Develop knowledge and expertise relating to the isolation, identification and characterization of lactic acid bacteria exhibiting antimicrobial activity with a high potential for use as bioprotective.

Specific objectives in dairy sector :

  • In vitro and in vivo evaluations of the potential of new, natural antimicrobial-based products produced by lactic acid bacteria as an alternative to antibiotics in the prevention and treatment of sub-clinical and clinical mastitis in dairy cows;
  • To develop an environmentally-friendly approach based on the use of bioprotective lactic acid bacteria cultures and their metabolites for the modulation of microbial ecosystems in milk and dairy products and to evaluate the impact of such an approach on the quality and safety of products.


Results and potential benefits

  • The scientific program for the chair will help to establish a multidisciplinary framework in the field of protective cultures and natural antimicrobials as well as to create new knowledge relating to lactic acid bacteria activities, specifically with respect to the production of antimicrobial compounds.
  • Our results will constitute the first proof-of-concept for the application of these natural bioactive compounds as an alternative to traditional antimicrobials (in dairy production) and traditional additives and salt (dairy processing) whose usage is increasingly disputed.
  • These applications in dairy processing will be completed on cheddar cheese and stirred yogurt models to control pathogenic and alteration flora. A veterinary application for the prevention of mastitis will also be tested in vitro.
  • In addition, data on the efficiency and, more importantly, the safety of these molecules will constitute a major benefit in their homologation by regulatory bodies and, consequently, their large-scale exploitation.
  • In the mid-term, the work will help to reduce losses related to the downgrading of milk and dairy products and to therefore promote the microbiological quality of products.
  • In the long term, the work will help to improve the quality of ecosystems and to protect biodiversity by reducing the use of antibiotics. It will also respond to the concerns of the population and consumers and to improve their health and quality of life.


Professionals trained

  • Laurent Dallaire, master’s student
  • Léo Daviaud, master’s student
  • Liya Zhang, doctoral student
  • Hebatoallah Hassan, doctoral student
  • Zied Abdelwahed, doctoral student
  • Sabrine Naïmi, doctoral student


Financial contributions

The research chair is funded under the program of the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Industrial Research Chair in collaboration with the Consortium de recherche et innovations en bioprocédés industriels au Québec (CRIBIQ).

Industrial Partners are :

  • Biena
  • Cascades
  • La Coop Fédérée
  • Fumoir Grizzly
  • Novalait
  • Olymel
  • Sani-Marc