Academic article

The lactic acid bacteria, the food chain, and their regulation

Wessels, Stephen; Axelsson, Lars; Hansen, Egon; de Vuyst, Luc; Laulund, Svend; Lahteenmaki, Liisa; Lindgren, Sven; Mollet, Beat; vin Wrigth, Atte

Publication details

Journal: Trends in Food Science & Technology, vol. 15, p. 498–505, 2004

Publisher: Elsevier

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0924-2244
Electronic: 1879-3053

Open Access: none


This viewpoint deals with regulatory aspects of microbial cultures added to foods, and primarily the lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The authors propose a number of key principles for future regulation of these cultures by the European Union. These principles are supported by brief reviews of LAB taxonomy, safety, and consumer perception. Then, a review is given of advantages and drawbacks of current US and EU legislation and leads to a proposal for an EU system of generic approval of cultures. The system would be based on inventories of micro-organisms with wellestablished histories of safe use.