Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Anti-microbial peptidesEdible plantsPathogenic microorganismsVegetal origin


The present invention relates to a selection of peptides of vegetable origin with anti-microbial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Being derived from edible vegetables, these peptides have the advantage of being unharmful, therefore usable both for environmental sanitation in different food sector applications, and for performing or supporting bacterial infections treatment in human and veterinary medical sectors, alternatively or in conjunction with antibiotic therapies.

Technical features

The identification of compounds with anti-bacterial activity of natural origin alternative to antibiotics and / or chemical or thermal treatments of food products, environments or systems is of great interest both for the food sector and for clinical, human and veterinary sectors, in order to combat microbial contamination and prevent the development of further antibiotic resistance. This invention proposes a new approach to the problem, based on the use of vegetable anti-microbial peptides, that is to say small protein molecules synthesized from plants in response to attacks of pathogenic microorganisms. By analyzing the genomes of edible plants, we selected some sequences of peptides with potential anti-microbial power, that was tested through in vitro assays against main pathogenic and alternative bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli, Salmonella thyphymurium, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium sporogenes, Clostridium tyrobutyricum, Bacillus thuringiensis). The biological characteristics of these molecules, which showed excellent inhibitory capacity towards six kinds of bacteria of food and clinical interest, represent a new bio-control tool and can meet the needs of new alternative compounds to food additives and antibiotics.

Possible Applications

  • Food industry;
  • Clinical sector;
  • Pharmaceutical sector;
  • Veterinary sector;
  • Environmental bio-control;
  • Bio-conservation of art works.


  • Anti-microbial compounds;
  • Speed ​​of synthesis;
  • High efficiency;
  • Versatility of use;
  • Absence of toxicity;
  • Natural origin.