Bioprotective starters, especially lactic acid bacteria, are used in fermentation and biological preservation of the meat products and considered as appropriate substitutes for the chemical preservatives. The aim of this study was to use Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus acidilactici as bioprotective cultures and probiotics for the growth control of important foodborne pathogens and increase of the poultry meat shelf life.
Starter culture of 8.5 × 107 CFU/g, pathogenic bacteria of 105 CFU/g, citric acid concentration of 1% and lactose concentration of 7% were inoculated in chicken breasts. All treatments were stored at 25 °C for 24 h followed by 4°C ±1 for 72 h. Changes in population of the starter cultures, decreases in pathogenic bacteria and changes in pH values were assessed within a period of 72 h.
Results showed that the population of lactic acid bacteria increased in pathogen-containing treatments. Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus acidilactici cultures respectively decreased Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella typhimurium populations by 1.6 and 1.5 log folds until the Day 3 of fermentation, compared to control samples. Pediococcus acidilactici treatment included the strongest effects on decreasing populations of the pathogenic bacteria (p < 0.05). During fermentation and storage, a constant pH decrease was observed in inoculated samples with lactic acid culture, compared to control samples.
Use of bioprotective starters can play a significant role in safety of meat products and increase of their shelf-life as well as creating desired properties in meats.