Acidification level and temperature modulate the beneficial consortia of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) during meat fermentation. Less is known about the impact of other factors, such as raw meat quality and salting. These could for instance affect the growth of the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus or of Enterobacterales species, potentially indicative of poor fermentation practice. Therefore, pork batters from either normal or borderline quality (dark-firm-dry, DFD) were compared at various salt concentrations (0–4%) in meat fermentation models. Microbial ecology of the samples was investigated with culture-dependent techniques and (GTG) 5-PCR fingerprinting of genomic DNA. Whilst Lactobacillus sakei governed the fermentation of normal meat, Lactobacillus curvatus was more prominent in the fermentation of the DFD meat variant. CNS were favoured during fermentation at rising salt concentrations without much effects on species diversity, consisting mostly of Staphylococcus equorum, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, and Staphylococcus xylosus. During fermentation of DFD meat, S. saprophyticus was less manifest than during that of normal meat. Enterobacterales mainly emerged in DFD meat during fermentation at low salt concentrations. The salt hurdle was insufficient to prevent Enterobacterales when acidification and initial pH were favourable for their growth.
- Meat fermentation