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Technological and safety characterization of coagulase-negative staphylococci from traditionally fermented sausages of Basilicata region (Southern Italy)

Bonomo, M.G., Ricciardi, A., Zotta, T., Sico, M.A., Salzano, G.
Meat science 2009 v.83 no.1 pp. 15-23
traditional foods, sausages, fermentation, fermented foods, isolation, coagulase negative staphylococci, starter cultures, nitrate reductase, proteolysis, lipolysis, carboxylation, antimicrobial properties, salt tolerance, heat tolerance, acid tolerance, pH, food safety, sensory properties, molecular systematics, Italy
Thirty-seven strains of coagulase-negative staphylococci, isolated from traditional fermented sausages of Basilicata region, were screened on the basis of their technological properties (nitrate reductase, proteolytic, lipolytic, amino acid-decarboxylase and antimicrobial activities) and for their ability to grow in the presence of different salt concentrations, temperatures and pH values, to elucidate their possible role during meat fermentation process. All strains grew at 20°C and 30°C in all conditions, while at 10°C, only few isolates showed a good growth at pH values ranging from 6 to 5.2. Staphylococci strains had different enzymatic profiles. A significant level of proteolytic activity was observed in 75.6% of the strains and 23 staphylococci hydrolysed sarcoplasmatic proteins. Nitrate was reduced by 62% of the strains, while most of isolates (80.9%) were able to decarboxylate at least one of the tested amino acids. This is a preliminary study focused on the selection of autochthonous starter cultures to standardize the production of fermented sausages, to preserve their organoleptic and sensory properties and to improve the quality of final product.