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Meat Sci. 2005 Feb;69(2):307-17. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2004.07.012.

Characterization of the microbial flora from a traditional Greek fermented sausage.

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Laboratory of Food Quality Control and Hygiene, Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 118 55 Athens, Greece.


The microbial flora of naturally fermented sausages was studied. Lactic acid bacteria were the dominant species at the end of fermentation in all 3 batches (ca. 10(8) cfu g(-1)). Enterobacteria, Pseudomonas, yeasts and aerobic spore-formers decreased during fermentation and the ripening process and were below the detection limit in the end product. Enterococci exceeded 10(4)-10(5) cfu g(-1) during fermentation and remained constant at this level during ripening. Gram-positive, catalase-positive cocci exceeded 10(5) cfu g(-1), except for batch 1, during the first days of fermentation and then decreased until the end of ripening (10(2)-10(4) cfu g(-1)). No pathogenic staphylococci, sulfite reducing clostridia or Salmonella spp. were detected. Listeria spp. occurred in the first days of fermentation but were eliminated by the end of whole process in all batches. Identification showed that the majority of lactobacilli isolated from MRS agar strains were assigned to the species of Lactobacillus plantarum and Lb. plantarum/pentosus. All the isolated strains from the mannitol salt agar belonged to the genus of Staphylococcus. The predominant species were Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Staphylococcus xylosus and Staphylococcus simulans. The tests used to characterize the lactic acid bacteria and staphylococci as well as their distribution on the three batches were also discussed.

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