Virome studies of food production systems: time for ‘farm to fork’ analyses

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Mahony, Jennifer
van Sinderen, Douwe
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The food industry is under increasing pressure to produce high quality, traceable and minimally processed foods that are produced using sustainable approaches and ingredients. In line with the latter, there is an increased pressure for plant-based products to replace animal-derived products. Until recently, research efforts have mainly focused on dairy and meat products owing to their economic importance. The shift towards plant-based diets and food production requires a corresponding shift in research efforts to define the microbial requirements for and composition of (novel) plant-based foods, the (micro)organisms that are beneficial to such production systems, and the abundance and role of (bacterio)phages in shaping the microbial landscape of these foods. In this review, we explore current efforts in the area of virome analysis of foods and food production environments and highlight the need for more unified approaches to understand the contribution of phages in food safety and quality, and to develop novel tools to enhance the traceability of foods.
Plant-based products , Animal-derived products , Plant-based diets , Farm to fork , Virome studies , Food production systems
Mahony, J. and Van Sinderen, D. (2022) ‘Virome studies of food production systems: time for “farm to fork” analyses’, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 73, pp. 22–27. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2021.06.014
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