Background: Fruits and vegetables are susceptible to colonisation by undesired microflora,
which, in pre- and post-harvest conditions, negatively impact the quality of these products,
leading to a reduction of yield, shelf-life, and marketability. In the few last years, the use of
microbial Biological Control Agents (BCAs) has assumed international relevance in order to control
harmful microorganisms, as a promising alternative to chemical interventions.
Objective: The purpose of this review is to discuss the microbial-based solutions applicable for the
biocontrol of the main microbial spoilers, phytopathogens, and human food-borne pathogens affecting
fruits and vegetables during their production and storage.
Results: A comprehensive overview of the scientific literature investigating the effectiveness of
BCA-based products available on the market is provided, as well as of the most recent patents protecting
biotechnological applications in this field. Innovative trends are discussed, with a particular
focus on the integration of BCAs to minimise spoilage phenomena and microbiological risks adopting
Conclusion: This study underlines the growing interest about biocontrol strategies to counteract
the growth of spoilage and/or pathogenic microorganisms indicating that in the next years a considerable
increase of commercial products and patents will be developed worldwide to exploit innovative
biotechnological solutions in the sector.