Main content area

Effect of starter culture and fermentation temperature on water mobility and distribution in fermented sausages and correlation to microbial safety studied by nuclear magnetic resonance relaxometry

Møller, Sandie M., Gunvig, Annemarie, Bertram, Hanne Christine
Meat science 2010 v.86 no.2 pp. 462-467
Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, drying, fermentation, fermented foods, food contamination, meat production, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, pH, protons, sausages, starter cultures, temperature
Water mobility and distribution in fermented sausages produced with differences in pH development as a result of the use of three different starter cultures (T-SPX, F-1, or F-SC-111) and two fermentation temperatures (24°C, or 32°C) were studied using low-field proton NMR relaxometry. Changes in the distribution and mobility of water in fermented sausages upon fermentation and drying were detectable by NMR T₂ relaxation, and the progress in the drying process could be followed as a shift towards faster relaxation times. In addition, the distribution of water in the sausages was significantly affected by the pH decline. The sausages were spiked with Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli VTEC, and partial least squares regressions revealed that 90% of the variation in reduction of Salmonella and VTEC could be explained by the NMR T₂ relaxation decay. Consequently, the study demonstrated that NMR relaxometry is a promising technique for elucidating process parameters and microbial safety in the production of fermented meat products.