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Biocontrol of aflatoxigenic Aspergillus parasiticus by native Debaryomyces hansenii in dry-cured meat products

Peromingo, Belén, Andrade, María J., Delgado, Josué, Sánchez-Montero, Lourdes, Núñez, Félix
Food microbiology 2019 v.82 pp. 269-276
Aspergillus parasiticus, Debaryomyces hansenii, HACCP, aflatoxins, biochemical pathways, biological control, biological control agents, cured meats, fermented sausages, genes, meat aging, toxigenic strains, water activity, yeasts
Dry-cured meat products, such as dry-cured ham or dry-fermented sausages, are characterized by their particular ripening process, where a mould population grows on their surface. Some of these moulds are hazardous to the consumers because of their ability to produce mycotoxins including aflatoxins (AFs). The use of native yeasts could be considered a potential strategy for controlling the presence of AFs in dry-cured meat products. The aim of this work was to evaluate the antagonistic activity of two native Debaryomyces hansenii strains on the relative growth rate and the AFs production in Aspergillus parasiticus. Both D. hansenii strains significantly reduced the growth rates of A. parasiticus when grown in a meat-model system at different water activity (aw) conditions. The presence of D. hansenii strains caused a stimulation of AFs production by A. parasiticus at 0.99 aw. However, at 0.92 aw the yeasts significantly reduced the AFs concentration in the meat-model system. The relative expression levels of the aflR and aflS genes involved in the AFs biosynthetic pathway were also repressed at 0.92 aw in the presence of both D. hansenii strains. These satisfactory results were confirmed in dry-cured ham and dry-fermented sausage slices inoculated with A. parasiticus, since both D. hansenii strains significantly reduced AFs amounts in these matrices. Therefore, both tested D. hansenii strains could be proposed as biocontrol agents within a HACCP framework to minimize the hazard associated with the presence of AFs in dry-cured meat products.