Colour formation in fermented sausages by meat-associated staphylococci with different nitrite- and nitrate-reductase activities

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Three Staphylococcus strains, S. carnosus, S. simulans and S. saprophyticus, selected due to their varying nitrite and/or nitrate-reductase activities, were used to initiate colour formation during sausage fermentation. During fermentation of sausages with either nitrite or nitrate added, colour was followed by L*a*b measurements and the content of nitrosylmyoglobin (MbFeIINO) quantified by electron spin resonance (ESR). MbFeIINO was rapidly formed in sausages with added nitrite independent of the presence of nitrite reducing bacteria, whereas the rate of MbFeIINO formation in sausages with added nitrate depended on the specific Staphylococcus strain. Strains with high nitrate-reductase activity showed a significantly faster rate of pigment formation, but other factors were of influence as well. Product stability for the sliced, packaged sausage was evaluated as surface colour and oxidation by autofluorescence and hexanal content, respectively. No significant direct effect of the Staphylococcus addition was observed, however, there was a clear correspondence between high initial amount of MbFeIINO in the different sausages and the colour stability during storage. Autofluorescence data correlated well with hexanal content, and may be used as predictive tools. Overall, nitrite- and nitrate-reductase activities of Staphylococcus strains in nitrite-cured sausages were of limited importance regarding colour development, while in nitrate-cured sausages strains with higher nitrate reductase activity were crucial for ensuring optimal colour formation during initial fermentation stages.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMeat Science
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)492-501
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Research areas

  • Former LIFE faculty - Fermented sausage; Staphylococcus; Nitrate-reductase; Nitrite-reductase; Nitrosylmyoglobin; Cured colour formation

ID: 8108115