When you make wine, you use the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ferment sugary juices. After you're done, you want to avoid them doing anything by using some chemicals etc. There are also other living things (especially bacteria) that can ruin your wine or food during storage. For example, there are bacteria that would turn your wine into vinegar.

Have viruses been identified that infect and kill the bacteria that spoil wine or other foods?

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    $\begingroup$ For an example of background reading that could help you improve your questions I found this freely available paper. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


There is at least one bacteriophage ("phage") that targets bacteria that spoil wine:

The Gluconobacter phage GC1 is a novel member of the Tectiviridae family isolated from a juice sample collected during dry white wine making. The bacteriophage infects Gluconobacter cerinus, an acetic acid bacterium which represents a spoilage microorganism during wine making, mainly because it is able to produce ethyl alcohol and transform it into acetic acid.

This particular linked paper does not say anything about usage of bacteriophages as a food preservative or for food safety, but there is interest in using bacteriophages for this general application, as an alternative to the use of antibiotics in food production.

Phages are everywhere. Craig Venter went out on his yacht and scooped up a bunch for one of his papers. Phage therapy may end up augmenting or replacing antibiotics, which would be good for us humans as many disease-causing bacteria have developed or are developing resistance to them.

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    $\begingroup$ Phage are quite specific though. It would be difficult putting together a cocktail that could kill all of the many bacteria that might spoil a particular food. $\endgroup$
    – timeskull
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 15:53

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