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Tiny but mighty: bacterial membrane vesicles in food biotechnological applications

Liu, Yue, Alexeeva, Svetlana, Defourny, Kyra AY, Smid, Eddy J, Abee, Tjakko
Current opinion in biotechnology 2018 v.49 pp. 179-184
bacteria, fermentation, humans, probiotics
Membrane vesicle (MV) production is observed in all domains of life. Evidence of MV production accumulated in recent years among bacterial species involved in fermentation processes. These studies revealed MV composition, biological functions and properties, which made us recognize the potential of MVs in food applications as delivery vehicles of various compounds to other bacteria or the human host. Moreover, MV producing strains can deliver benefits as probiotics or starters in fermentation processes. Next to the natural production of MVs, we also highlight possible methods for artificial generation of bacterial MVs and cargo loading to enhance their applicability. We believe that a more in-depth understanding of bacterial MVs opens new avenues for their exploitation in biotechnological applications.