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Int J Food Microbiol. 2006 Feb 15;106(3):270-85. Epub 2005 Oct 5.

Functional meat starter cultures for improved sausage fermentation.

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Research Group of Industrial Microbiology, Fermentation Technology and Downstream Processing (IMDO), Department of Applied Biological Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.


Starter cultures that initiate rapid acidification of the raw meat batter and that lead to a desirable sensory quality of the end-product are used for the production of fermented sausages. Recently, the use of new, functional starter cultures with an industrially or nutritionally important functionality is being explored. Functional starter cultures offer an additional functionality compared to classical starter cultures and represent a way of improving and optimising the sausage fermentation process and achieving tastier, safer, and healthier products. Examples include microorganisms that generate aroma compounds, health-promoting molecules, bacteriocins or other antimicrobials, contribute to cured meat colour, possess probiotic qualities, or lack negative properties such as the production of biogenic amines and toxic compounds. The vast quantity of artisan fermented sausages from different origins represents a treasure chest of biodiversity that can be exploited to create such functional starter cultures.

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