Role of Starter Cultures on the Safety of Fermented Meat Products

Conclusion Starter cultures are an important tool that contributes to ensure the safety of fermented meat products. Indeed, the microorganisms that constitute starter cultures may inhibit or reduce the growth of spoilage and/or pathogenic populations through mechanisms, such as production of certain metabolites or competitive exclusion. Thus, the use of starter cultures may reduce the need for chemical additives, such as nitrites and nitrates. Furthermore, the lower residual levels of nitrates and nitrites detected in fermented meat products inoculated with starter cultures are due to the ability of starters to metabolize those compounds. Besides their beneficial effect on safety, which should be the main reason for their use, starters may play other important roles in fermented meat products, such as increasing the reproducibility of product characteristics between batches, shortening the manufacturing times, and improving sensory characteristics. Although the positive effect of starters in the control or reduction of the microbiological hazards present in fermented meat products, with the concomitant reduction in the levels of biogenic amines, has been extensively studied, more studies are needed on the role of starters in controlling the content in nitrosamines or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Author Contributions ML drafted the whole manuscript. MP drafted the lactic acid bacteria section of the manuscript. ME critically revised the manuscript and drafted the con...
Source: Frontiers in Microbiology - Category: Microbiology Source Type: research

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