Applications of Bacteriocins of Lactic Acid Bacteria in Biotechnology and Food Preservation: A Bibliometric Review

Christian K. Anumudu1, Osaze Omoregbe1, Abarasi Hart2, Taghi Miri1, Ukpai A. Eze3, Helen Onyeaka1, *
1 School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
2 Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S1 3JD, UK
3 Leicester School of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, UK

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© 2022 Anumudu et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK; Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 5292; E-mail:



Due to the growing prevalence of antibiotic resistance in microorganisms and the demand for safe food, there is increasing interest in using natural bioproducts such as the antimicrobial peptides bacteriocins to extend the shelf-life of foods. This is because of their spectrum of activity, ease of synthesis and applicability. This study reports on the global trends in lactic acid bacteria (LAB) bacteriocins based research publications in the Web of Science core collections within the last 20 years (2000-2019), with specific focus to their applications in biotechnology and food science.


Data analysis was undertaken using VOSviewer and HistCite software to evaluate relationships between articles and visualise research linkages amongst authors, institutions and countries.


In the 20 years under review, a total of 1741 bacteriocin related articles were published, with the most cited publication examining the anti-infective activity of Lactobacillus salivarius. The highest research output was recorded by the United States, followed by Spain and China. However, Europe as a continent had the highest research output with a higher inter-institution collaboration network and stronger food safety legislations.


The bibliometric analysis gave insights into the research areas, cooperation network of authors, co-citation maps and co-occurrence of keywords utilized in the research field and indicates that bacteriocin-based research is highly multidisciplinary with a global reach.


Key focus is on the control of foodborne disease pathogens, search for new producer organisms and approaches to improve bacteriocin yield and application. This class of antimicrobial peptides has the potential to replace chemical food preservatives in the future.

Keywords: Bacteriocin, Lactic acid bacteria, Bibliometric analysis, HistCite, VOSviewer, Food safety, Food security.