Recombinant bovine lactoferrin N-terminal polypeptide (rbLF-N) Escherichia coli expression system was constructed and the rbLF-N antimicrobial activity was displayed by enzymatic proteolysis in this study. A 162 bp 5′-terminal fragment of bovine lactoferrin (bLF) gene from bovine liver gDNA was amplified by PCR. The DNA fragment containing exon-2 of the bLF gene was cloned into the expression vector pGEX-4T1 and the glutathione-S-transferase–rbLF-N (GST-rbLF-N) fusion protein was obtained by over-expression in Esch. coli BL21(DE3). After thrombin/pepsin digestion, the rbLF-N was released from the fusion protein. The recombinant peptide was separated and identified by SDS-PAGE, HPLC and LC-MS/MS analysis. A very strong anti-food-born microbial pathogen activity of the rbLF-N peptides was displayed through bio- and kinetic-assays in vitro. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of the rbLF-N peptide for bacterial pathogens Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Esch. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae were 11·7, 11·7, 11·7, 23·4 μg and 23·4, 11·7, 11·7, 46·4 μg, respectively. This study created a new route for exploring lactoferrin peptide application in food science.