Carnobacterium piscicola strain A9b isolated from cold smoked salmon inhibits growth of the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes partly due to the production of a proteinaceous compound (L. Nilsson, L. Gram, and H. H. Huss. J. Food Prot. 62:336-342, 1999). The purpose of the present study was to purify the compound and describe factors affecting its production, with particular emphasis on food-relevant factors. Amino acid sequencing showed that the compound is a class IIa bacteriocin with an N-terminal amino acid sequence identical to that of carnobacteriocin B2. The production of the bacteriocin was autoinducible, and the threshold level for induction was 9.6 x 10(-10) M. We also report, for the first time, that acetate acts as an induction factor, with a threshold concentration of 0.3 to 12 mM. Acetate could not act as an inducer during the late exponential phase of C. piscicola A9b. The induction of bacteriocin production showed a dose-dependent relationship at acetate concentrations of up to 10 to 20 mM (depending on the growth medium) and at a concentration of 1.9 x 10(-8) M for the bacteriocin itself; a saturation level of bacteriocin specific activity was reached at these concentrations of induction factors. The combined use of both inducers did not enhance the saturation level of bacteriocin production compared to that seen with the use of each inducer alone. Increasing NaCl and glucose concentrations negatively influenced the efficiency of acetate as an induction factor. Based on the results, carnobacteriocin B2 was used as an induction factor to manipulate the production of bacteriocin in cold smoked salmon juice and thus improve the ability to inhibit L. monocytogenes.