Science & Nutrition

Pooperoni? Spanish researchers produce low sodium and fat probiotic stool sausage

04-Mar-2014 - By Nathan Gray+
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A fermented sausage product that is made with probiotic lactobacilli bacteria isolated from infant faeces could transform the meat product in to a health food, according to new research.

The new study, published in Meat Science, investigated the potential suitability of six potential probiotic lactobacilli strains (three commercial strains and three isolated and characterised from infants' faeces) for the production of a ‘healthy’ low-acid fermented sausage with a reduced sodium and fat content.

Led by Margarita Garriga from Catalonia's Institute of Food and Agricultural Research the team behind the study noted that bacterial fermentation is already a big part in making sausages – with many varieties including pepperoni and salami owing their rich and tangy flavour to bacteria.

“Although dairy products are the most commonly used food vehicles for the delivery of probiotics, fermented sausages whose main microbiota consists of lactobacilli could be suitable products for the carriage of probiotic bacteria,” said the team.

They tested the potential for the six strains as part of a starter culture in low-sodium, low-fat fermented sausages known in the Catalan region of Spain as fuets – finding that only one strain (L. rhamnosus CTC1679) isolated from infant faeces was able to grow and compete with the existing lactic acid bacteria population of the sausages throughout the ripening process.

“Thus, fuet containing L. rhamnosus CTC1679 as a starter culture could be a suitable vehicle for putative probiotic bacteria delivery,” said Garriga and her team – who noted that all of the final products “recorded a satisfactory overall sensory quality without any noticeable off-flavour, and with the characteristic sensory properties of low-acid fermented sausages.”

“Considering the recommended daily dosage, the putative probiotic effect could be achieved with the ingestion of 10 g of fuet per day, which is feasible and compatible with a nutritionally balanced diet,” they added.

Study details

The team assessed the six strains - Lactobacillus casei CTC1677, L. caseiCTC1678 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CTC1679 isolated from infant faeces and Lactobacillus plantarum 299v, L. rhamnosus GG andL. casei Shirota available commercially – for their suitabiklity for the manufacturing and storage of fermented sausages in two independent trials.

Garriga and her team chose the three infant stool strains based on their their safety, technological and probiotic features after assessing 109 isolates from 43 stool samples.

“Under the conditions assayed, L. rhamnosus CTC1679 is the most suitable potential probiotic lactobacilli to be used in the reduced sodium and fat content low-acid fermented sausages since it achieves high levels (108 CFU/g) at the end of processing, without affecting the characteristic sensory properties of the product,” said the team.

Source: Meat Science
Volume 96, Issue 2, Part A, February 2014, Pages 937–942, doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.09.008
“Nutritionally enhanced fermented sausages as a vehicle for potential probiotic lactobacilli delivery”
Authors: Raquel Rubio, Anna Jofré, et al

Related topics: Sugar, salt and fat reduction, Science & Nutrition, Cultures, enzymes, yeast, Meat, fish and savoury ingredients