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New Insights on Fermented Meat Products

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Worldwide there is a huge diversity of fermented meat products as a result of human needs and creativity. Fermented meat products have been produced according to traditional know how that has been transmitted for centuries with the main objectives of giving to the meat a shelf life extension, different ...

Worldwide there is a huge diversity of fermented meat products as a result of human needs and creativity. Fermented meat products have been produced according to traditional know how that has been transmitted for centuries with the main objectives of giving to the meat a shelf life extension, different presentations with distinct flavour profiles and textures and avoiding food waste. The preservation effect is due to the production of lactic acid and other organic acids as result of metabolic activities of particular fermentative microbiota which reduce the pH, that associated to drying and/or smoking process decreases the meat product water activity, resulting in the inhibition of pathogenic and spoilage organisms.

In contemporary times, health and safety issues, particularly chemical and microbial potential hazards, have been related to fermented meat products. These potential chemical hazards are due to their content in nitroso-compounds, associated to the use of nitrite and smoke hazardous compounds as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Consumer’s demands safe meat products with low chemical additives, low salt and low fat content. New trends for fermented meat products formulation and processes applied could impact on natural microbiota modulation with implications of microbial safety and sensorial characteristics. Several alternative technologies could be applied in order to have safety fermented meat products. The use of starter cultures with protective and probiotic effects in the concept of biopreservation and several athermic technologies could be applied to assure safety without modifying product sensorial characteristics. There is still much to understand, how do fermentative microorganisms adapts to new meat products formulations and technologies, how, when and what metabolic changes eventually shape their genome regarding several environmental and technological stresses, how beneficial microorganism could be used to prevent chemical hazards, how pathogens behave in fermented meat products and in their industrial environment and how all the above can be interrelated preventing spoilage and improving fermented meat products safety.

This Research Topic will focus on studies, including original articles, reviews, mini reviews, and perspectives about:

1. Microbiota involved in meat products fermentation and dry cured meat products in general
2. Selection of technological, protective and probiotic starters and safety concerns related with.
3. Genomic and metabolomics (volatolomics) characterization of microorganisms with technological interest on fermented meat products, both lactic acid bacteria, coagulase negative staphylococci, or other.
4. Mechanisms involved in pathogens inhibition (bacteriocins or other mechanisms)
5. Effects of technological procedures in the microbioma of fermented products (new technologies for pathogens and spoilage control)
6. Opportunities to use fermentative microorganisms improving sensory characteristics, namely those associated to the absence of nitrite and clean label products
7. Traditional and ethnic fermented meat products – microorganisms- and their role in its processing.


Keywords: Fermented meat products, safety, microbiome, genomics, metabolomics, bacteriocins, Clean label nitrite; clean label; Clostridium; Listeria


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