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Food Microbiol. 2007 Feb;24(1):82-8. Epub 2006 Apr 4.

Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in dry fermented sausages containing micro-encapsulated probiotic lactic acid bacteria.

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  • 1Faculty of Agricultural and Food Science, Department of Food Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man., Canada R3T 2N2.


Escherichia coli O157:H7 is capable of surviving the rigorous processing steps during the manufacture of dry fermented sausages. The effect of adding two probiotic organisms, Lactobacillus reuteri and Bifidobacterium longum as co-cultures with the meat starter cultures Pediococcus pentosaceus and Staphylococcus carnosus on the viability of E. coli O157:H7 in dry fermented sausages was studied. A 5 strain cocktail of E. coli O157:H7 was added at 7.4 log cfu/g to the sausage batter and challenged with either or both Lb. reuteri or B. longum before or after they were micro-encapsulated. Sausages were fermented at < or = 26 degrees C and 88% relative humidity (RH) followed by drying at 75% RH and 13 degrees C for 25 d. The pH, water activity (aw), protein, moisture, and numbers of all inoculated organisms were monitored during processing. The pH and aw decreased from 5.7 and 0.98 to 4.9 and 0.88 at the end of fermentation and drying, respectively. These processes reduced E. coli O157:H7 by 1.0 and 0.7 log cfu/g at the end of fermentation and drying, respectively. Unencapsulated Lb. reuteri with or without B. longum reduced E. coli O157:H7 by 3.0 log cfu/g and B. longum caused a 1.9 log cfu/g reduction. While micro-encapsulation increased survival of Lb. reuteri and B. longum, it reduced their inhibitory action against E. coli O157:H7.

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