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Probiotics in fermented sausages

Vuyst, Luc De, Falony, Gwen, Leroy, Frédéric
Meat science 2008 v.80 no.1 pp. 75-78
sausages, fermented foods, starter cultures, probiotics, lactic acid bacteria, health foods, health promotion, intestinal microorganisms, viability, meat quality
Probiotic foods receive market interest as health-promoting, functional foods. They have been introduced in a wide range of food industries. However, commercial application of probiotic microorganisms in fermented sausages is not common yet. There are both advantages and disadvantages connected to fermented meat matrices. They are adequate for the carriage of probiotic bacteria since they are usually not or only mildly heated and may promote the survival of probiotic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. In contrast, bacterial viability may be reduced due to the high content in curing salt and the low water activity and pH. Therefore, results are expected to be strain-dependent. Up till now, several approaches have been followed but most results are too preliminary to be able to evaluate the effect of probiotic fermented meats on human health. Candidate probiotic strains have been obtained through screening for technological requirements among bacteria that are naturally present in the meat or that originate from meat starter cultures. Alternatively, existing probiotic bacteria have been applied in meat products. Finally, the evaluation of the end-products needs to deal with both health effects and technological characteristics, for instance through human intervention studies and taste panels, respectively.