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Lactic acid bacteria and high pressure to improve the storage of cooked ham

The selection of a lactic acid bacterium for a treatment that combines biopreservation and high pressure.

Tranche de jambon roulée sur un lit de salade verte.. © INRA, NICOLAS Bertrand
Updated on 10/04/2018
Published on 07/04/2018

High pressure (HP) (cold pasteurisation) and biopreservation (addition of protective cultures, often composed of lactic acid bacteria) are two technologies used for the preservation of foods. When applied separately, these treatments are ineffective against the spores produced by certain spore-forming bacteria. On the other hand, HP is able to induce the germination process that transforms spores into so-called vegetative cells which can be controlled by biopreservation.

The aim of this study was therefore to combine HP and biopreservation to control the spore-forming bacteria (and their spores) found naturally in cooked ham that may be detrimental during storage. Lactic acid bacteria were therefore selected on the basis of their antagonistic properties versus spore-forming bacteria and their resistance to HP treatments.

Starting from a collection of 63 lactic acid bacterial strains of different origins, 14 strains were retained initially according to security and safety criteria. The antagonistic effects of these strains against (or toward?) spore-forming species of Bacillus and Clostridium made it possible to retain one strain of Lactobacillus curvatus and one of Lactococcus lactis. Their resistance and ability to multiply after the application of an HP treatment were then characterised.

Although the L. curvatus strain proved to be more resistant to HP, only the L. lactis strain demonstrated capacity to regrow after application of the treatment. For this reason, and after checking for the absence of biogenic amines produced in the ham – which have varying degrees of toxicity – this strain was considered to be the best candidate for the development of a new treatment for cooked ham, combining HP and biopreservation.

Partners: this work was carried out in the context of the ANR BLac-HP project (ANR-14-CE20-0004) which involved ten partners, including the INRA-Oniris Joint Research Unit for Food Safety and Microbiology (UMR-SECALIM) and the INRA-AgroParisTech Joint Research Unit for Food and Gut Microbiology for Human Health (Institut MICALIS).

Associated publication: Ramaroson, M., Guillou, S., Rossero, A., Rezé, S., Anthoine, V., Moriceau, N., Martin, J.-L., Duranton, F., Zagorec, M., 2018. Selection procedure of bioprotective cultures for their combined use with High Pressure Processing to control spore-forming bacteria in cooked ham. International Journal of Food Microbiology 276, 28-38.

Scientific contact(s):

Associated Division(s):
Microbiology and the Food Chain
Associated Centre(s):
Pays de la Loire, Jouy-en-Josas