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Open AccessArticle

Comparison of Six Commercial Meat Starter Cultures for the Fermentation of Yellow Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) Paste

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Lab4Food, Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M2S), KU Leuven, Campus Geel, B-2440 Geel, Belgium
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Laboratory for Process Microbial Ecology and Bioinspirational Management (PME&BIM), Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M2S), KU Leuven, Campus De Nayer, B-2860 Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(11), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7110540
Received: 9 October 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Biotechnology)
In this study, six commercial meat starters, each consisting of a pure strain of a lactic acid-fermenting bacterium (including Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus curvatus, L. farciminis, L. plantarum, L. sakei, and Pediococcus acidilactici), were tested for their ability to ferment a paste produced from the yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor). During fermentation, microbial counts, pH, and the bacterial community composition were determined. In addition, UPLC-MS was applied to monitor the consumption of glucose and the production of glutamic (Glu) and aspartic (Asp) acid. All tested starters were able to ferment the mealworm paste, judged by a pH reduction from 6.68 to 4.60–4.95 within 72 h. Illumina amplicon sequencing showed that all starters were able to colonize the substrate eciently. Moreover, the introduction of the starter cultures led to the disappearance of Bacillus and Clostridium species, which were the dominant microorganisms in un-inoculated samples. Of the six cultures tested, Lactobacillus farciminis was most promising as its application resulted in the largest increase (±25 mg/100 g of paste) in the content of free glutamic and aspartic acid. These amino acids are responsible for the appreciated umami flavour in fermented food products and might stimulate the acceptance of insects and their consumption. View Full-Text
Keywords: fermentation; mealworm paste; bacterial community dynamics; microbial counts; quantitative PCR; metabolite target analysis fermentation; mealworm paste; bacterial community dynamics; microbial counts; quantitative PCR; metabolite target analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

An, B.; Sam, C.; Dries, V.; Ruben, S.; Christel, V.; Mik, V.D.B.; Bart, L.; Leen, V.C. Comparison of Six Commercial Meat Starter Cultures for the Fermentation of Yellow Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) Paste. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 540.

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