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Effect of irradiation of frozen meat/fat trimmings on microbiological and physicochemical quality attributes of dry fermented sausages

Chouliara, I., Samelis, J., Kakouri, A., Badeka, A., Savvaidis, I.N., Riganakos, K., Kontominas, M.G.
Meat science 2006 v.74 no.2 pp. 303-311
water content, meat cuts, frozen meat, sausages, salami, food sanitation, dried meat, fermented foods, food irradiation, gamma radiation, fermentation, meat aging, storage time, meat quality, food contamination, microbial detection, plate count, Listeria, Pseudomonas, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, food pathogens, yeasts, starter cultures, Lactobacillus pentosus, Staphylococcus carnosus, pH, color, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, Greece
Changes in microbiological and physicochemical quality attributes resulting from the use of irradiation in the production of Greek dry fermented sausage were investigated as a function of fermentation/ripening time. Results showed that irradiating meat/fat trimmings at 2 or 4 kGy prior to sausage production eliminated natural contamination with Listeria spp., and reduced pseudomonads, enterococci and pathogenic staphylococci, and enterobacteria, to less than 2 and 1 log cfu g-1, respectively. Pseudomonads were very sensitive (>3.4 log reduction) to either radiation dose. Yeasts were the most resistant followed by inherent lactic acid bacteria; their reductions on the trimmings were radiation dose-dependent. Residual effects of irradiation were noted against enterococci, but not against gram-negatives which died off fast during fermentation even in non-irradiated samples. Growth of the starter bacteria, Lactobacillus pentosus and Staphylococcus carnosus, inoculated in the sausage batters post-irradiation was unaffected by the 2 or 4 kGy pre-treatment of the trimmings. Irradiation had little or no effect at the end of ripening period (28 days) on pH, moisture content and color (parameters L*, a*, and b*). Changes in TBA values were small but statistically significant with irradiated samples having higher TBA values than control samples.