The application of starter cultures to improve quality and safety has become a very common practice in the meat industry. Probiotic strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can also bring health benefits by releasing bioactive peptides. The aim of this work was to evaluate the stability of antiradical activity of protein extracts from LAB-inoculated dry-cured pork loins during long-term aging and evaluate their hydrolysates after simulated gastrointestinal digestion. Analyses of hydrolysates by using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were strengthened with in silico analysis. The highest antiradical activity of the protein extracts was observed after 180 days of aging. The influence of the strain used (LOCK, BAUER, or BB12) on the inactivation ability of ABTS radicals varied during long-term aging. The IC50
values indicated the higher antiradical properties of salt-soluble (SSF) compared to water-soluble fraction (WSF) of proteins. The peptides generated by in vitro digestion have MW between 700 and 4232 Da and their length ranged from 5 to 47 amino acids in a sequence where Leu, Pro, Lys, Glu, and His had the largest share. This study demonstrates that the degradation of pork muscle proteins during gastrointestinal digestion may give rise to a wide variety of peptides with antiradical properties.
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