This report summarizes research to evaluate novel techniques to improve preservation of and to incorporate those best approaches to improve quality and stability of combat operational rations. The objectives were to optimize the production of bacteriocins (BAC), i.e., nisin and pediocin, using various unusual food-grade substrates (e.g. whey, soy milk, peanut milk, etc) for production and incorporation into military ration items. BAC are an abundant and diverse group of ribosomally synthesized antimicrobial peptides produced by bacteria. They are generally recognized as natural compounds able to influence the safety and quality of foods. Of the several substrates evaluated, whey was the best producer of both nisin and pediocin. Whey + yeast extract was the best performing whey fermentation media. The nisin producer strain Lactococcus. lactis ssp. lactis was shown to be the most active BAC producer (i.e., 24,000-32,000 activity units/gm of dried fermentate when fermented on the whey media). Pediococcus acidilactici was found to be the most active producer of pediocin, also fermented on the whey media. This research also showed that nisin and pediocin fermentates clearly have promise as food preservatives; however, their effectiveness will depend on the food system in which they are used and the level of protection expected. Microbial fermentates tended to be more efficacious when used in conjunction with other food preservatives.