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Proteolytic Lactococcus lactis and Lipolytic Enterococcus durans of Dairy Origin as Meat Functional Starter Cultures

Mirna Mrkonjic Fuka1*orcid tiny, Ivica Kos2orcid tiny, Ana Zgomba Maksimovic1orcid tiny, Melita Bačić1orcid tiny and Irina Tanuwidjaja1orcid tiny

1Department of Microbiology, University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Svetosimunska cesta 25, Zagreb, Croatia

2Department of Animal Technology, University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Svetosimunska cesta 25, Zagreb, Croatia

Article history:

Received: 1 July 2020

Accepted: 22 February 2021

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Key words:

fermented sausages, native starter cultures, dairy origin, rep-PCR, sensory properties


Research background. As fermentation is an integral feature of both, dry sausage and cheese production this has led to the evaluation of bacterial cultures Lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris (LL8307) and Enterococcus durans (ED0207) originally isolated from artisanal Croatian hard type cheese to diversify the range of flavours of dry fermented sausages and to increase their microbiological safety. Both strains were chosen for their high or medium acidifying, proteolytic and/or lipolytic activity and bioprotective potential after step-by-step selection of wild isolates. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the survival rate of selected starter cultures in wild boar meat sausages during the ripening period of 40 days at a local small-scale facility under artisanal conditions as well as their influence on sausage quality parameters. 

Experimental approach. Safety, biotechnological and probiotic properties of twenty-three enterococcal and lactococcal isolates of dairy origin were studied. Based on the results, two best candidates were selected and added to the meat batter during the artisanal wild boar meat sausage preparation where their survival rate, the effect on physicochemical, microbiological and sensorial properties and histamine content were evaluated.

Results and conclusions. As revealed by repetitive element-polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR), native starter cultures survived up to 15 days of ripening and were either absent from (LL8307) or reduced by 80 % (ED0207) in final products. The application of native starter cultures rapidly decreased pH (p<0.05) leading to the significantly lower load of E. coli, coliforms and Enterobacteriaceae in ready-to-eat sausages prepared by the addition of starter cultures (3.04-3.94 log CFU/g) than the control (3.88-5.00 log CFU/g). Analysis of hedonic test data revealed that some of the sensory traits (odour, flavour, juiciness) of treatments with starter cultures were highly liked by the higher percentage of consumers. The results suggest that these starter cultures would represent a valuable tool to improve the homogeneity of artisanal manufacture and hygienic quality of fermented sausages and can be safely used for food application.

Novelty and scientific contribution. This is the first study to explore in depth the biotechnological potential of bacterial cultures isolated from artisanal Croatian cheese as functional starter cultures for high-quality game meat sausages production.

*Corresponding author: +38512394034

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