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J Appl Microbiol. 2009 Feb;106(2):543-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2008.04045.x.

Lactic acid bacteria associated with a heat-processed pork product and sources of variation affecting chemical indices of spoilage and sensory characteristics.

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1
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Food Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

AIMS:

To evaluate the potential for developing a quality index for a Danish modified atmosphere packaged (MAP) heat-processed and naturally contaminated pork meat product stored at 5 degrees C.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

The composition of the predominating microflora and changes in contents of tyramine, arginine, organic acids and sensory characteristics were analysed. The microflora was predominated by Lactobacillus sakei, Leuconostoc carnosum and Carnobacterium divergens. The presence of each species varied between products and batches resulting in limited usefulness of the concentrations of these bacteria or their metabolites as indices of quality. Furthermore, the three species differed in their metabolic activities as shown by use of a model meat extract. However, when MAP storage of the processed pork product was followed by aerobic storage then acetic acid showed some potential as a chemical indicator of sensory quality.

CONCLUSION:

Variation in processing parameters and spoilage microbiota limited the usefulness of concentrations of micro-organisms and their metabolites as indices of spoilage for the studied processed MAP pork product.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The present study contributes to an understanding of the difficulties experienced in developing quality indices to be used in the control of microbial spoilage of processed MAP meat products.

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