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Exploring the idea of using “good” bacteria to prevent the spoilage of meat

Project Code: POC.02.18
Completed: In Progress. Results expected in April 2020.

Project Title:

Exploring the potential of using Carnobacterium maltaromaticum A5 as a bioprotective agent in meat plants to improve the safety and shelf life of meat

Researchers:

Dr. Devin Holman and Dr. Peipei Zhang of AAFC Lacombe Research and Development Centre

Background  

Canada has continued to make major improvements in beef safety and shelf life with advancements in how both carcasses and individual cuts of meat are handled. Even so, sporadic recalls associated with Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 do still occur and storage life of different products continues to be variable. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are food safe and naturally occurring in vacuum-packaged meat. They tend to become the most common bacteria in beef that is stored for longer periods of time under vacuum packaging 

Objective 

Assess whether the inhibitory effect of a Carnobacterium maltaromaticum strain (A5) on pathogenic and spoilage bacteria can be reproduced with meat. 

What they will do

In a previous study, researchers found that beef with longer shelf life had higher numbers of C. maltaromaticum (a type of LAB). In this study researchers are going to try to use this particular LAB strain as aa bioprotective agent (similar to probiotics in humans) to encourage the growth of this good bacteria on packaged meat, through which the “bad  bacteria” may be inhibited or killed 

Implications

If this proves to be successful, the long term objective of this research is to use this technology in packing plants to benefit food safety, sustainability and possibly improve international trade by encouraging the growth of “good bacteria” to outcompete the “bad or undesirable bacteria”. 

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