Effect of high-pressure processing and natural antimicrobials on the shelf-life of cooked ham
The need to reduce the content of questionable health preservatives leads to the search for new methods to extend the shelf-life of meat products. The spectrum of possible approaches includes physical methods and the use of additives from natural sources. In this study, we examined the influence of the combination of high-pressure processing (HPP) and the addition of natural antimicrobials on the shelf-life of cooked ham. The samples of cooked ham were produced in a professional meat processing plant. One half of the samples were produced according to a traditional recipe, and the other was enriched with potassium lactate in the form of a commercial product PURASAL® Hirer P Plus. This product is produced via sugar fermentation and contains high levels of potassium lactate, a compound with high antimicrobial activity. Cooked hams were inoculated by bacteria Serratia liquefaction, vacuum packaged and treated by HPP. Packaged ham samples were stored at 3°C for 40 days and the total microbial count was examined during this storage period in defined intervals. The combination of HPP and potassium lactate from natural sources significantly reduced the total microbial counts in cooked hams and, thus, could be a suitable solution for the meat industry.
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