Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has recently emerged as a powerful tool for the routine identification of clinical isolates. MALDI-TOF MS based identification of bacteria has been shown to be more rapid, accurate and cost-efficient than conventional phenotypic techniques or molecular methods. Rapid and reliable identification of food-associated bacteria is also of crucial importance for food processing and product quality. This review is concerned with the applicability of MALDI-TOF MS for routine identification of foodborne bacteria taking the specific requirements of food microbiological laboratories and the food industry into account. The current state of knowledge including recent findings and new approaches are discussed.
The article is published online in the Open Microbiology Journal and is free to access.