The effect of starter cultures on the qualitative indicators of dry fermented sausages made from poultry meat
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Changes in physicochemical, rheological and microbiological properties occurring throughout the ripening (on days 0, 7, 14, 21, and 28) of dry fermented sausages made from poultry meat were studied. The effect of starter bacteria on the microstructure and sensory attributes of dry fermented sausages has also been determined. The results of physicochemical analysis of dry fermented sausage shows no significant difference (P < 0.05) between the test (inoculated) and the control sausages in the protein, fat, moisture, salt, ash and nitrite content. However, the significant difference (P > 0.05) between the control and inoculated batches in lowering the pH level, changing the critical shear stress, growth of viable microorganisms, accumulation of amine nitrogen during ripening was established. The results show, that inculcation of starter cultures accelerates biochemical processes during fermentation and thereby provides the necessary functional and technological properties of minced meat. Sensory profiling showed a more significant (P < 0.05) acidic and spicy flavour and intensity of acidic and smoked meat aroma; and increased firmness and cohesiveness in inoculated sausage. The results of microstructural analysis showed that the dry fermented sausages that ripened with the starter bacteria (Lactobacillus curvatus, Staphylococcus carnosus, Pediococcus pentosaceus), differ from the control sample compacted as a thin surface layer which is formed during the drying, smoking and maturation, and that indicates more uniform moisture removal.