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The Use of Starter Cultures to Improve Food Safety

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021) | Viewed by 19535

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. MED—Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, IIFA—Institute of Research and Advanced Training, University of Évora, 7006-554 Évora, Portugal
2. Department of Plant Science, School of Science and Technology, University of Évora, 7004-516 Évora, Portugal
Interests: food microbiology; starter cultures; food quality and safety; sensory analysis; physical properties of food
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Assistant Guest Editor
CIISA-Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar em Sanidade Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida da Universidade Técnica, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: food safety; traditional meat products; emergent technologies; protective starters
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Assistant Guest Editor
MED-Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, IIFA-Instituto de Investigação e Formação Avançada & Departamento de Medicina Veterinária, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal
Interests: food microbiology; food science & technology; food fermentation; molecular biology
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Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Sciences, Animal and Veterinary Research Centre-Vila Real, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Interests: meat products; food science, sensory analysis, fermentation; food safety
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,


The increase in food consumption makes it necessary to improve methodologies to guarantee food safety. Traditionally, chemical additives play an important role in food safety. Therefore, the modern consumer avoids the use of chemical additives, preferring foods without or with less additives. Starter cultures are natural microorganisms added to fermented foods, in single or mixed cultures, able to improve food safety, sometimes reducing the use of added preservatives.


The goal of this special issue is to assemble a collection of manuscripts on the use of starter cultures able to increase safety in food products, such as meat, fish, dairy, vegetables, and fruits, among others.

Dr. Miguel Elias
Dr. Maria João Fraqueza
Dr. Marta Laranjo
Dr. Luís Patarata
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food safety
  • starter cultures
  • meat
  • fish
  • dairy
  • vegetables
  • fruits

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 414 KiB  
Article
Co-Inoculation with Staphylococcus equorum and Lactobacillus sakei Reduces Vasoactive Biogenic Amines in Traditional Dry-Cured Sausages
by Igor Dias, Marta Laranjo, Maria Eduarda Potes, Ana Cristina Agulheiro-Santos, Sara Ricardo-Rodrigues, Ana Rita Fialho, Joana Véstia, Maria J. Fraqueza, Margarida Oliveira and Miguel Elias
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18137100 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2165
Abstract
Dry-cured sausages are traditional in Mediterranean countries, and Paio do Alentejo (PA) is one of the most popular in South Portugal. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of combined starters on the safety and quality of PA preserving [...] Read more.
Dry-cured sausages are traditional in Mediterranean countries, and Paio do Alentejo (PA) is one of the most popular in South Portugal. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of combined starters on the safety and quality of PA preserving its sensory quality. Physicochemical parameters, namely pH and water activity (aW), microbiological parameters, biogenic amines, color, texture, and sensory attributes were assessed. Three starter cultures were used, namely Staphylococcus equorum S2M7 and Lactobacillus sakei CV3C2, both separate and combined with the 2RB4 yeast strain at a concentration of 106 cfu/g. Dextrose 0.25% was added to the meat batter. Starters had a significant effect on the reduction of aW values (0.845 to 0.823). The treatment with L. sakei as well as the co-inoculation of L. sakei with S. equorum effectively reduced the L. monocytogenes counts to undetectable levels. Sausages co-inoculated with S. equorum S2M7/L. sakei CV3C2 showed a significant reduction in the content of vasoactive amines, namely tryptamine (26.21 to 15.70) and β-phenylethylamine (4.80 to 3.69). Regarding texture, control PA showed higher hardness values, and the starters promoted the cohesiveness of the batter while reducing chewiness. The studied starters did not compromise the sensory characteristics of PA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Starter Cultures to Improve Food Safety)
13 pages, 1518 KiB  
Article
Characterization of a Lactiplantibacillus plantarum R23 Isolated from Arugula by Whole-Genome Sequencing and Its Bacteriocin Production Ability
by Joana Barbosa, Helena Albano, Beatriz Silva, Maria Helena Almeida, Teresa Nogueira and Paula Teixeira
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5515; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115515 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3437
Abstract
Lactiplantibacillus plantarum is one of the lactic acid bacteria species most used as probiotics and starter cultures in food production. Bacteriocin-producers Lpb. plantarum are also promising natural food preservatives. This study aimed to characterize Lpb. plantarum R23 and its bacteriocins (R23 bacteriocins). The [...] Read more.
Lactiplantibacillus plantarum is one of the lactic acid bacteria species most used as probiotics and starter cultures in food production. Bacteriocin-producers Lpb. plantarum are also promising natural food preservatives. This study aimed to characterize Lpb. plantarum R23 and its bacteriocins (R23 bacteriocins). The genome sequence of Lpb. plantarum R23 was obtained by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) in an Illumina NovaSeq platform. The activity of Lpb. plantarum R23-produced bacteriocin against two Listeria monocytogenes strains (L7946 and L7947) was evaluated, and its molecular size was determined by tricine-SDS-PAGE. No virulence or antibiotic resistance genes were detected. Four 100% identical proteins to the class II bacteriocins (Plantaricin E, Plantaricin F, Pediocin PA-1 (Pediocin AcH), and Coagulin A) were found by WGS analysis. The small (<6.5 kDa) R23 bacteriocins were stable at different pH values (ranging from 2 to 8), temperatures (between 4 and 100 °C), detergents (all, except Triton X-100 and Triton X-114 at 0.01 g/mL), and enzymes (catalase and α-amylase), did not adsorb to the producer cells, had a bacteriostatic mode of action and their maximum activity (AU/mL = 12,800) against two L. monocytogenes strains occurred between 15 and 21 h of Lpb. plantarum R23 growth. Lactiplantibacillus plantarum R23 showed to be a promising bio-preservative culture because, besides being safe, it produces a stable bacteriocin or bacteriocins (harbors genes encoding for the production of four) inhibiting pathogens as L. monocytogenes. Further studies in different food matrices are required to confirm this hypothesis and its suitability as a future starter culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Starter Cultures to Improve Food Safety)
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11 pages, 360 KiB  
Article
Susceptibility to Enterocins and Lantibiotic Bacteriocins of Biofilm-Forming Enterococci Isolated from Slovak Fermented Meat Products Available on the Market
by Andrea Lauková, Anna Kandričáková and Eva Bino
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9586; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249586 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1907
Abstract
This study investigated eight types of Slovak dry fermented meat products (salami and sausages) that are available on the market and were produced by three different producers in different regions of Slovakia. The total counts of enterococci in these products ranged from 2.0 [...] Read more.
This study investigated eight types of Slovak dry fermented meat products (salami and sausages) that are available on the market and were produced by three different producers in different regions of Slovakia. The total counts of enterococci in these products ranged from 2.0 up to 6.0 cfu/g (log10). Three species were identified among the 15 selected enterococcal strains; Enterococcus faecium (8 strains), Enterococcus faecalis (3) and Enterococcus hirae (4). They were hemolysis-negative (γ-hemolysis) with a biofilm-forming ability, which was evaluated as low-grade biofilm formation, susceptible to conventional antibiotics and mainly susceptible to lantibiotic bacteriocins, namely, gallidermin and nisin; they even showed a higher susceptibility to gallidermin than to nisin. They were also susceptible to enterocin–durancin, but most strains showed resistance to enterocin A/P. This study indicated that bacteriocins can play a key role in preventing and/or protecting from undesirable bacterial multiplication or contamination in the food industry and that they have great potential for further experimental applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Starter Cultures to Improve Food Safety)
11 pages, 364 KiB  
Article
Enterococcus mundtii Isolated from Slovak Raw Goat Milk and Its Bacteriocinogenic Potential
by Andrea Lauková, Valentína Focková and Monika Pogány Simonová
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249504 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1841
Abstract
Enterococci are lactic acid bacteria. Most of them can adapt well to the food system due to their salt and acid-tolerance. Moreover, many enterococcal species have been found to produce antimicrobial substances of proteinaceous character, i.e., bacteriocins/enterocins. In this study, Enterococcus mundtii EM [...] Read more.
Enterococci are lactic acid bacteria. Most of them can adapt well to the food system due to their salt and acid-tolerance. Moreover, many enterococcal species have been found to produce antimicrobial substances of proteinaceous character, i.e., bacteriocins/enterocins. In this study, Enterococcus mundtii EM ML2/2 with bacteriocinogenic potential was identified in Slovak raw goat milk. This strain demonstrated inhibition activity against up to 36% of Gram-positive indicator bacteria, and in concentrated form the bacteriocin substance (pH 6.3) showed the highest inhibition activity (1600 AU/mL) against the principal indicator strain E. avium EA5. Semi-purified substance (SPS) EM ML2/2 produced inhibition activity up to 3200 AU/mL. Concentrated bacteriocin substance and SPS maintained active (inhibition activity up to 100 AU/mL) for three months under −20 °C storage conditions. The strain showed susceptible antibiotic profile, and it did not form biofilm. No production of damaging enzymes was noted. It was nonhemolytic, as well as DNase, and gelatinase-negative. It grew well in skim milk, and it was salt and acid-tolerant. The bacteriocin potential of E. mundtii species isolated from Slovak raw goat milk has not previously been detected, so this is an original contribution which may stimulate addtitional research and application studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Starter Cultures to Improve Food Safety)

Review

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25 pages, 504 KiB  
Review
Use of Starter Cultures in Foods from Animal Origin to Improve Their Safety
by Juan García-Díez and Cristina Saraiva
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2544; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052544 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 50 | Viewed by 5491
Abstract
Starter cultures can be defined as preparations with a large number of cells that include a single type or a mixture of two or more microorganisms that are added to foods in order to take advantage of the compounds or products derived from [...] Read more.
Starter cultures can be defined as preparations with a large number of cells that include a single type or a mixture of two or more microorganisms that are added to foods in order to take advantage of the compounds or products derived from their metabolism or enzymatic activity. In foods from animal origin, starter cultures are widely used in the dairy industry for cheese, yogurt and other fermented dairy products, in the meat industry, mainly for sausage manufacture, and in the fishery industry for fermented fish products. Usually, microorganisms selected as starter culture are isolated from the native microbiota of traditional products since they are well adapted to the environmental conditions of food processing and are responsible to confer specific appearance, texture, aroma and flavour characteristics. The main function of starter cultures used in food from animal origin, mainly represented by lactic acid bacteria, consists in the rapid production of lactic acid, which causes a reduction in pH, inhibiting the growth of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, increasing the shelf-life of fermented foods. Also, production of other metabolites (e.g., lactic acid, acetic acid, propionic acid, benzoic acid, hydrogen peroxide or bacteriocins) improves the safety of foods. Since starter cultures have become the predominant microbiota, it allows food processors to control the fermentation processes, excluding the undesirable flora and decreasing hygienic and manufacturing risks due to deficiencies of microbial origin. Also, stater cultures play an important role in the chemical safety of fermented foods by reduction of biogenic amine and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons contents. The present review discusses how starter cultures contribute to improve the microbiological and chemical safety in products of animal origin, namely meat, dairy and fishery products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Starter Cultures to Improve Food Safety)
16 pages, 5200 KiB  
Review
Improvement of Raw Milk Cheese Hygiene through the Selection of Starter and Non-Starter Lactic Acid Bacteria: The Successful Case of PDO Pecorino Siciliano Cheese
by Raimondo Gaglio, Massimo Todaro and Luca Settanni
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1834; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041834 - 13 Feb 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3472
Abstract
This review article focuses on the technological aspects and microbiological critical points of pressed-cooked cheeses processed from raw ewe’s milk without the inoculation of starter cultures, in particular “Pecorino” cheese typology produced in Italy. After showing the composition of the biofilms adhering to [...] Read more.
This review article focuses on the technological aspects and microbiological critical points of pressed-cooked cheeses processed from raw ewe’s milk without the inoculation of starter cultures, in particular “Pecorino” cheese typology produced in Italy. After showing the composition of the biofilms adhering to the surface of the traditional dairy equipment (mainly wooden vat used to collect milk) and the microbiological characteristics of PDO Pecorino Siciliano cheese manufactured throughout Sicily, this cheese is taken as a case study to develop a strategy to improve its hygienic and safety characteristics. Basically, the natural lactic acid bacterial populations of fresh and ripened cheeses were characterized to select an autochthonous starter and non-starter cultures to stabilize the microbial community of PDO Pecorino Siciliano cheese. These bacteria were applied at a small scale level to prove their in situ efficacy, and finally introduced within the consortium for protection and promotion of this cheese to disseminate their performances to all dairy factories. The innovation in PDO Pecorino Siciliano cheese production was proven to be respectful of the traditional protocol, the final cheeses preserved their typicality, and the general cheese safety was improved. An overview of the future research prospects is also reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Use of Starter Cultures to Improve Food Safety)
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