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J Food Prot. 2008 Jun;71(6):1244-7.

Identification and characterization of Enterococcus spp. in Greek spontaneous sausage fermentation.

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Laboratory of Food Quality Control and Hygiene, Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 lera Odos Street, GR-11855 Athens, Greece.


A total of 108 enterococcal strains previously isolated from spontaneously fermented sausages were identified using phenotypic traits, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The proteolytic and lipolytic activities of these isolates and their ability to decarboxylate lysine, tyrosine, ornithine, and histidine and to produce antimicrobial compounds also were assessed. All strains were identified as Enterococcus faecium, and a lack of correlation between data derived from phenotypic and those derived from genotypic techniques was evident. Wide strain diversity was revealed by both phenotypic properties and PFGE strain typing results. Few strains were present in all batches, suggesting a possible persistence in the respective production plants. Neither proteolytic nor lipolytic activities were detected, and none of the strains decarboxylated lysine, tyrosine, ornithine, or histidine. A total of 42 E. faecium strains inhibited in vitro growth of Listeria monocytogenes, which suggests possible contribution of these strains to the safety of the end product and possible utilization of these strains as protective cultures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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