Novel Compounds Prevent Biofilm Development on Food Packaging and on Fresh Foods

Steinberg Doron, HUJI, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Institute of Dental Sciences


Bacteria in biofilms implicated in food-borne diseases


Our Innovation

Novel compounds that disrupt cell–cell communication (quorum sensing) and interfere with the formation of biofilms can be used as coatings on food packaging materials to prevent the formation of biofilms that induce disease-causing fungi and bacteria. (See Newsweek article: http://www.newsweek.com/2014/07/25/spray-keep-bacteria-laden-biofilms-growing-food-259323.html


Left: Treated surface, Right: Untreated control

Red: Dead bacteria, Green: Live bacteria


Applications for use:

  • Technology can be applied to washing tanks of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Technology can be applied to frozen food packaging, poultry and meat packaging, and other areas within the food packaging industry
  • Other applications include industrial water treatment in open and closed water systems, prevention of biofilm formation on filtration membranes, paints and coatings, irrigation pipelines, paper-making machines, fouling of marine vessels



  • Simple heterocyclic compounds disrupt cell–cell communication (quorum sensing) interfering with the formation of biofilms
  • Compounds added to packaging and shipping crates prevent the formation of biofilm, resulting in cleaner, healthier produce
  • Protect fresh fruits and vegetables being shipped long distances
  • Prolongs shelf life of products

Key Features

  • Technology successfully incorporated into acrylic polymers used to coat corrugated cardboard used for fresh produce
  • No antibacterial or antifungal effect, avoids development of resistant strains
  • Environmentally safe – non-leaching coating
  • Effective against both fungal and bacterial biofilms
  • Inhibit and reverse biofilm formation  

Development Milestones

  • Additional compounds to be synthesized
  • Additional Field trials in agricultural, municipal and industrial water pipes, homes and hospitals


Contact for more information:

Ilya Pittel
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