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Microbiological and sensory quality of dry fermented sausages containing alginate-microencapsulated Lactobacillus reuteri

Muthukumarasamy, P., Holley, R.A.
International journal of food microbiology 2006 v.111 no.2 pp. 164-169
sausages, fermentation, starter cultures, Pediococcus pentosaceus, Staphylococcus carnosus, probiotics, lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus reuteri, microencapsulation, smoking (food products), relative humidity, fermented foods, dried meat, meat aging, water activity, pH, meat quality, sensory evaluation, flavor, appearance (quality), texture, food acceptability, health foods, product development, plate count
The probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri was added to dry sausage batter, without or after being microencapsulated in alginate using either extrusion or emulsion technology. Pediococcus pentosaceus and Staphylococcus carnosus were added at 7 log cfu/g as starter cultures for fermentation. The sausage batter was stuffed in 55 mm fibrous casings and fermented, with smoking, at < less than 26 °C and 88% relative humidity (RH) for 72 h. During fermentation as well as drying at 75% RH and 13 °C for 25 days, the pH and water activity (aw) of the sausages were measured. The numbers of the three organisms in sausages during processing were determined. A consumer taste panel study was conducted to determine if addition of L. reuteri as unencapsulated cells or in microcapsules added at 1% (w/w) affected the sensory quality of the dry fermented sausages. Changes in sausage pH from 5.8 to 4.8, and aw from 0.97 to 0.89, were the same for both control and microcapsule-containing sausages. The numbers of unencapsulated L. reuteri cells dropped by 2.6 log units, whereas microencapsulated L. reuteri were reduced by only < less than 0.5 log unit after drying. No significant difference in sensory quality was found between control and sausages containing either unencapsulated or microencapsulated L. reuteri. Thus, microencapsulation of probiotics like L. reuteri may be an option for formulation of fermented meat products with viable heath-promoting bacteria.