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.
Fulltext HTML PDF ePub