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The aim of this work was to study the hygienic and qualitative parameters of a traditional meat product from Calabria, named ‘Nduja di Spilinga, characterised by an high amount in fat (50%) and chilli pepper (25%). In this regard, 30 products, weight 500g, were prepared with and without chilli pepper (respectively, p-series: 15 products and np-series:15 products) and analysed for the count of Enterobacteria (Ent), Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB), Gram+Catalase+Cocci (GCC+) and Yeasts. Furthermore pH, aw and Free Fatty Acids (FFA), expressed as percentage of oleic acid on 100g of total fat (TF), were evaluated. Finally, in order to estimate the potential compliance with the Regulation (EC) 2073/05 and further modifications, a challenge test for Listeria monocytogenes was carried out. Obtained data show a high decrease, during the seasoning, of Enterobacteria and L. monocytogenes especially in samples of pseries, according to their lower pH values than np-series samples. With regard to the microflora of technological interest, Yeast were the only population which significantly increases during the seasoning of p-series products, presumably influencing the increase of FFA which reached the highest concentration (5.75% oleic acid/TF) at the same time in which Yeasts reached maximum population density (17th day).
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