Special Issue "Meat Quality and Safety and Microbial Analysis"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Meat".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Maria J. Andrade
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Food Hygiene and Safety, Meat and Meat Products Research Institute, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Extremadura, Avda. de las Ciencias, s/n. 10003 Cáceres, Spain
Interests: antimicrobial compounds; genomics; proteomics; mycotoxins; metabolomics; food safety
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Juan José Córdoba Ramos
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Univ Extremadura, Meat & Meat Prod Res Inst, Fac Vet Sci, Food Hyg & Safety, Avda Univ S-N, Caceres 10003, Spain.
Interests: food hygiene and safety; meat science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fresh meat is highly prone to microbiological contamination, which is one of the major global causes of foodborne diseases in humans. In addition to the challenges of guaranteeing its safety, the meat industry also has to consider the same issues for meat-derived products, which are commonly ready-to-eat. Nowadays, the development of alternative preservation methods both in raw meat and meat products has been attracting interest. In this sense, there is growing attention in the meat industry toward using natural products and reducing the use of preservatives (NaCl, nitrites, etc.), in order to satisfy consumer requirements. Such strategies also aim to inactivate and control spoilage microorganisms.
Furthermore, attention is also given to the development of rapid microbiological tools to accurately verify meat and meat products in order to guarantee their safety. Such advanced methods would allow for the improvement of preventive and risk-based approaches.
Our objective is to gather all the new information in this field and include it in the Special Issue on “Meat Quality and Safety and Microbial Analysis”. Concretely, this Special Issue looks forward to receiving contributions, either research papers or reviews, about different aspects of microbiological quality and safety of meat and meat products with special focus on:

  • Microbiological hazards in meat and meat products;
  • Emerging technologies for detecting and quantifying pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms as well as the toxins—when produced—in meat and meat products;
  • Advances in techniques to inactive pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms in meat and meat products;
  • Advances in analyzing gene and protein expression of microorganisms surviving preservation methods: genomic and proteomic techniques;
  • Effect of current tendencies in the meat industry regarding the quality and safety of products: salt reduction, nitrite-free meat products, etc.;
  • Techniques for predicting meat quality and safety;
  • Meat decontamination methods;
  • Application of starter and protective cultures in the meat industry.

Dr. Maria J. Andrade
Prof. Juan José Córdoba Ramos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • meat and meat products
  • meat-borne pathogens
  • meat spoilage
  • emerging preservative techniques
  • genomics and proteomics
  • advanced microbial detection technologies
  • hazards
  • decontamination
  • starter and protective cultures

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Effect of the Dry-Cured Fermented Sausage “Salchichón” Processing with a Selected Lactobacillus sakei in Listeria monocytogenes and Microbial Population
Foods 2021, 10(4), 856; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods10040856 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 682
Abstract
In the present work, the effect of processing of dry-cured fermented sausage “salchichón” spiked with the selected Lactobacillus sakei 205 was challenge-tested with low and high levels of L. monocytogenes. The evolution of the natural microbial population throughout the “salchichón” ripening was [...] Read more.
In the present work, the effect of processing of dry-cured fermented sausage “salchichón” spiked with the selected Lactobacillus sakei 205 was challenge-tested with low and high levels of L. monocytogenes. The evolution of the natural microbial population throughout the “salchichón” ripening was also evaluated. For this, a total of 150 “salchichón” were elaborated and divided into six equal cases which were inoculated with different levels of L. monocytogenes, and L. sakei 205. Afterwards, sausages were ripened for 90 days according to a typical industrial process. Moisture content (%) and water activity (aw) decreased throughout the ripening up to values around 26% and 0.78, respectively. No differences for moisture content, aw, pH, NaCl and nitrite concentration were observed between the analyzed cases. Lactic acid bacteria counts in the L. sakei 205 inoculated cases were always higher than 6 log CFU g−1 during ripening. Enterobacteriaceae counts were reduced during ripening until non-detectable levels at the end of processing. Reductions in L. monocytogenes counts ranged from 1.6 to 2.2 log CFU g−1; therefore, the processing of “salchichón” itself did not allow the growth of this pathogen. Reduction in L. monocytogenes was significantly higher in the cases inoculated with L. sakei 205. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meat Quality and Safety and Microbial Analysis)
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Article
MALDI-TOF MS Based Typing for Rapid Screening of Multiple Antibiotic Resistance E. coli and Virulent Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli Isolated from the Slaughterhouse Settings and Beef Carcasses
Foods 2021, 10(4), 820; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods10040820 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 773
Abstract
Background: The emergence of multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) Escherichia coli (E. coli) and virulent non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) poses a growing concern to the meat industry. Non-O157 STEC strains including O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145 have been implicated [...] Read more.
Background: The emergence of multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) Escherichia coli (E. coli) and virulent non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) poses a growing concern to the meat industry. Non-O157 STEC strains including O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145 have been implicated in the occurrence of bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome in humans. This research assessed prevalence, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass-spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) protein mass-spectra profiles, multidrug-resistance traits, polymerase chain reaction detection of virulence, and antibiotic-resistance genes of E. coli isolated from beef carcasses and slaughterhouse environments. Methods: A total of 180 convenience sponge samples were collected from two different sources-specific parts of beef carcasses and surfaces of the processing environment at the slaughterhouse of Ha′il, Saudi Arabia between September and November 2020. MALDI BioTyper and phylotype-based identification methods accurately identified and classified the samples as belonging to the genus belonging to the Escherichia coli domain of bacteria (NCBI txid: 562). Results: Expected changes were seen in the mass peak spectrum defining nine closely related isolates and four unrelated E. coli isolates. Serological typing of E. coli revealed enterotoxigenic E. coli O166 (19.10%); enteropathogenic E. coli O146 (16.36%) and O44 (18.18%); enterohemorrhagic E. coli O111 (31.18%) and O26 (14.54%). Forty-five percent of examined E. coli were resistant to seven antimicrobials; 75% of 20 selected isolates were resistant to three or more antimicrobials. phoA and blaTEM genes were detected in all selected E. coli isolates. Conclusion: This study confirmed the efficiency and validity of Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass-spectrometry in screening for multi-drug resistant E. coli isolated from slaughterhouse derived beef carcasses in Ha’il, Saudi Arabia. We contributed by revealing the distinction between related and non-related strains of E.coli in livestock. The findings in this study can inform improved policy development decision making and resource allocation related to livestock processing regarding antimicrobial use in food animals and rapid screening for effective multiple antibiotic resistance E. coli and virulent non-O157 STEC control in the slaughterhouses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meat Quality and Safety and Microbial Analysis)
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Article
Salt Replacement Changed the Bacterial Community Composition and Physicochemical Characteristics of Sodium-Reduced Fermented Sausages during Fermentation and Ripening
Foods 2021, 10(3), 630; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods10030630 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 702
Abstract
The impact on fermented sausages with 25% replacement of the sodium chloride content by 14% potassium chloride, 10% calcium ascorbate and 1% calcium glutamate during fermentation and ripening was evaluated based on the bacterial community composition and physicochemical and sensory characteristic analysis. Our [...] Read more.
The impact on fermented sausages with 25% replacement of the sodium chloride content by 14% potassium chloride, 10% calcium ascorbate and 1% calcium glutamate during fermentation and ripening was evaluated based on the bacterial community composition and physicochemical and sensory characteristic analysis. Our results showed that the use of salt replacement varied the composition of the bacterial community and reduced the diversity of that in sodium-reduced fermented sausages. Moreover, the decrease in pH and the moisture content of fermented sausages with salt replacement accelerated the drying and ripening processes. The texture profile and color analysis did not reveal marked differences between normal fermented sausages and sodium-reduced products with salt replacement; however, salt replacement reduced resilience and lightness of fermented sausages. In addition, as shown in the principal component analysis, the comprehensive parameters of the fermented sausages with salt replacement were similar to those of normal salt products. These results indicate that the complex blends of salt replacement have great potential to be used to produce sodium-reduced fermented sausages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meat Quality and Safety and Microbial Analysis)
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Article
Development of a Methodology for Estimating the Ergosterol in Meat Product-Borne Toxigenic Moulds to Evaluate Antifungal Agents
Foods 2021, 10(2), 438; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods10020438 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 569
Abstract
Antifungal agents are commonly used in the meat industry to prevent the growth of unwanted moulds, such as toxigenic ones, on dry-cured meat products. For enhancing the application of antifungals, their mode of action must be evaluated. Their effect on the mould ergosterol [...] Read more.
Antifungal agents are commonly used in the meat industry to prevent the growth of unwanted moulds, such as toxigenic ones, on dry-cured meat products. For enhancing the application of antifungals, their mode of action must be evaluated. Their effect on the mould ergosterol content is one of the most studied ones, since it is the target site of some commercialised antifungals or of those that are in development. The aim of this study was to develop a methodology for determining how the antifungal agents used in the meat industry work. A method for analysing ergosterol was firstly developed using high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection coupled to a diode array detector (HPLC-FLD/DAD). The chromatographically optimised conditions (gradient and mobile phases) allowed us to reduce the time per analysis with respect to previously published methods up to 22 min. Withing the six checked extraction methods, method 5, showing the best mean recovery values (99.51%), the shortest retention time (15.8 min), and the lowest standard deviation values (9.92) and working temperature (60 °C), was selected. The limit of detection and limit of quantification were 0.03 and 0.1 µg/mL, respectively. All the validation parameters corroborated the method’s suitability. Finally, its feasibility for evaluating the effect of a commercial antifungal preparation (AP) and different herbs that are frequently added to meat products on the ergosterol content of several toxigenic moulds was studied. Differences at the strain level were obtained in the presence of AP. Moreover, the addition of herbs significantly reduced the ergosterol content in Penicillium nordicum up to 83.91%. The developed methodology is thus suitable for screening the antifungals’ role in altering mould ergosterol biosynthesis before their application in real meat products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meat Quality and Safety and Microbial Analysis)
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Article
Effects of Preservative Agents on Quality Attributes of Dry-Cured Fermented Sausages
Foods 2020, 9(10), 1505; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods9101505 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 864
Abstract
Enterococcus faecium SE920, Debaryomyces hansenii FHSCC 253H, Penicillium chrysogenum CECT 20922, producer of the antifungal protein PgAFP, and this protein itself have previously been proposed to control toxigenic molds in dry-cured meat products. However, their effects on the usual microbial population, and the [...] Read more.
Enterococcus faecium SE920, Debaryomyces hansenii FHSCC 253H, Penicillium chrysogenum CECT 20922, producer of the antifungal protein PgAFP, and this protein itself have previously been proposed to control toxigenic molds in dry-cured meat products. However, their effects on the usual microbial population, and the sensory characteristics of these foods, have not yet been evaluated. The aim of this study was to assess the viability of the inoculation of these protective cultures, and their impact on the quality of dry-cured fermented sausages. These microorganisms were co-inoculated with a native desirable population (Penicillium nalgiovense, P. chrysogenum, D. hansenii, and Staphylococcus vitulinus) in a dry-cured fermented sausage (salchichón)-based medium in the presence and absence of PgAFP. Macroscopically, the biocontrol candidates did not produce relevant changes in the growth of the native population, enabling their coexistence. However, PgAFP causes the alteration of the hyphae structure in desirable molds. Thus, PgAFP was discarded for use on the surface of raw dry-cured fermented sausages (salchichón) in the pilot plant. The used biocontrol agents did not negatively affect the physico-chemical parameters of the dry-cured fermented sausages (salchichón) after ripening, which showed the typical volatile profile and odor. Thus, the application of E. faecium SE920, D. hansenii FHSCC 253H, and P. chrysogenum CECT 20922 as protective cultures against toxigenic molds during the ripening of dry-cured fermented sausages does not modify their typical sensorial quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meat Quality and Safety and Microbial Analysis)
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Article
Classification of Vertebral Osteomyelitis and Associated Judgment Applied during Post-Mortem Inspection of Swine Carcasses in Portugal
Foods 2020, 9(10), 1502; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods9101502 - 20 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
Vertebral osteomyelitis (VO) it is often a suppurative lesion that, in Portugal, represents the main cause of total condemnation of slaughtered finishing pigs. Based on the EU Meat Inspection legislation, meat from generalized VO cases presenting signs of pyemia should be declared unfit [...] Read more.
Vertebral osteomyelitis (VO) it is often a suppurative lesion that, in Portugal, represents the main cause of total condemnation of slaughtered finishing pigs. Based on the EU Meat Inspection legislation, meat from generalized VO cases presenting signs of pyemia should be declared unfit for human consumption. For that reason, the main objective of this study is to establish a classification scheme to differentiate between localized and generalized VO cases using macroscopic findings and validate it based on the presence of pyemia. To assist in, a combination of macroscopic characteristics of gross lesions (e.g., presence of pyaemia-related lesions (PRL), acute/chronic characteristics of VO) was used to create a classification scheme to differentiate between localized and generalized VO cases. The scheme was applied to 40 VO cases that had been totally condemned in an undifferentiated way. In those 40 cases, histopathological analysis was used to validate acute/chronic macro-criteria, and microbiological analysis was performed to identify the pyemia cases. From the 40 selected VO cases, 20 were macroscopically classified as chronic and 20 as acute. Cohen’s kappa coefficient (κ = 0.80; p < 0.001), revealed a substantial agreement between macroscopic and histopathology classification. Microbiological analyses identified 13 pyemia cases (13/40; 32.5%). Among those, 12 were macroscopically classified as acute, this association being highly significant (p < 0.001). By using the proposed VO classification scheme, 14 possible cases out of 40 could have been spared from total condemnation. This scheme can be used to harmonize the classification of VO and meat inspection decisions in Portuguese abattoirs. The output would lead to avoidance of unnecessary carcasses condemnation (food waste/economic losses), under an evidence-based approach, without compromising food safety and public health as demanded by the EU Meat Inspection legislation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meat Quality and Safety and Microbial Analysis)
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Article
Impact of Water Activity on the Inactivation and Gene Expression of Listeria monocytogenes during Refrigerated Storage of Pressurized Dry-Cured Ham
Foods 2020, 9(8), 1092; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods9081092 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1003
Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes population and the expression patterns of three virulence (plcA, hly, and iap) and one stress-related (sigB) genes in dry-cured ham with different water activity (aw) values (0.92, 0.88, and 0.84) and treated with [...] Read more.
Listeria monocytogenes population and the expression patterns of three virulence (plcA, hly, and iap) and one stress-related (sigB) genes in dry-cured ham with different water activity (aw) values (0.92, 0.88, and 0.84) and treated with high pressure processing (HPP, 450 MPa/10 min and 600 MPa/5 min) were monitored throughout 30 days (d) at 4 °C. The antimicrobial effect of HPP at 600 MPa against L. monocytogenes S4-2 (serotype 1/2b) and S12-1 (serotype 1/2c) was greater in dry-cured ham with aw values of 0.92, with reductions of 2.5 and 2.8 log units, respectively. The efficacy of HPP treatments decreased at lower aw values. Regarding gene expression, L. monocytogenes strains responded differently to HPP. For strain S4-2, the four target genes were generally overexpressed in dry-cured ham immediately after HPP treatments at the three aw values investigated, although the extent of this induction was lower in the samples pressurized at 600 MPa and with aw values of 0.84. For strain S12-1, the expression of all target genes was repressed at the three aw values investigated. The antimicrobial efficacy of HPP against L. monocytogenes could be compromised by low aw values in food products. However, no growth of HPP-survival cells was observed during refrigerated storage in low-aw dry-cured ham, and the overexpression of virulence and stress-related genes decreased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meat Quality and Safety and Microbial Analysis)
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