Pediococci are lactic acid bacteria (LAB) which have been used for centuries in the production of traditional fermented foods. There fermentative abilities were explored by the modern food processing industry in use of pediococci as starter cultures, enabling the production of fermented foods with distinct characteristics. Furthermore, some pediococci strains can produce bacteriocins and other antimicrobial metabolites (AMM), such as pediocins, which are increasingly being explored as bio-preservatives in various food matrices. Due to their versatility and inhibitory spectrum, pediococci bacteriocins and AMM are being extensively researched not only in the food industry, but also in veterinary and human medicine. Some of the pediococci were evaluated as potential probiotics with different beneficial areas of application associated with human and other animals' health. The main taxonomic characteristics of pediococci species are presented here, as well as and their potential roles and applications as starter cultures, as bio-preservatives and as probiotic candidates.
Keywords: Animal; Bacteriocins; Food; Health; Human; Pediococcus; Probiotics; Starter.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.