Application of MALDI-TOF MS for the Identification of Food Borne Bacteria

Melanie Pavlovic, Ingrid Huber, Regina Konrad , Ulrich Busch*
Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, 85354 Oberschleißheim, Germany

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© Pavlovic et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Veterinärstr. 2, 85764 Oberschlei ßheim, Germany; Tel.: +49 913168085234; Fax: +49 913168085458; E-mail:


Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has recently emerged as a powerful tool for the routine identification of clinical isolates. MALDI-TOF MS based identification of bacteria has been shown to be more rapid, accurate and cost-efficient than conventional phenotypic techniques or molecular methods. Rapid and reliable identification of food-associated bacteria is also of crucial importance for food processing and product quality.

This review is concerned with the applicability of MALDI-TOF MS for routine identification of foodborne bacteria taking the specific requirements of food microbiological laboratories and the food industry into account. The current state of knowledge including recent findings and new approaches are discussed.

Keywords: : MALDI-TOF MS, food microbiology, species identification, bacteria, food isolates.