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Meat Sci. 2003 Oct;65(2):859-67. doi: 10.1016/S0309-1740(02)00292-9.

Characterization of lactic acid bacteria isolated from a Greek dry-fermented sausage in respect of their technological and probiotic properties.

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Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Hygiene, Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, P.B. 250, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece.


A total of 147 lactic acid bacteria was isolated from two types of naturally fermented dry sausages at four different stages of the ripening process studied in order to select the most suitable strains according to their technological characteristics including probiotic properties and antimicrobial activity against food-borne pathogens. Identification of the isolates revealed that 90% were lactobacilli, 4% enterococci, 3% Pediococcus sp. and sporadic isolates of Weissella viridescens, Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, and Leuconostoc sp. The isolated strains of Lactobacillus sakei (49 isolates), Lactobacillus curvatus (24 isolates) and Lactobacillus plantarum (7 isolates) were further characterized. All strains could grow at 15 °C, whereas the majority of the strains was able to grow in the presence of 6.5% NaCl and on acetate agar. The enzymatic potential of the strains was evaluated using the API ZYM system. During in vitro investigations all strains exhibited high leucine and valine aminopeptidase activities and moderate acid phosphatase and phosphohydrolase activities. Some strains showed very weak lipolytic activity. The enzyme profiling is an important factor for selection of strains as starter cultures. A large majority of the strains tolerated 0.1% bile salts whereas 58% of Lactobacillus curvatus strains and all Lactobacillus plantarum strains were resistant to 0.3% bile salts. All Lactobacillus sakei strains and the majority of Lactobacillus curvatus and Lactobacillus plantarum strains exhibited an anti-listerial activity against three Listeria monocytogenes strains. A percentage of 75, 50 and 29% of Lactobacillus sakei, L. curvatus and L. plantarum strains, respectively, could inhibit two Staphylococcus aureus strains. The contribution of the selected strains to a possible inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes and S. aureus in situ on fermented meats would be of considerable interest to enhance the hygienic quality of these products.

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