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Effects of an Application of Lactobacillus on the Quality and Sensory Characteristics of Beef and Pork

Sharp, Amber
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of an application of Lactobacillus on the sensory and quality characteristics of both beef and pork. Beef strip loins (n = 10) and boneless pork loins (n = 10) were obtained and aged for approximately one week. Steaks/chops were cut and treated with a solution containing approximately 10<super>8</super> cfu/ml of Lactobacillus bacteria. Samples designated for d 0 analyses were either frozen or analyzed immediately. Samples for d 3 and d 6 were placed into the retail display case. Steaks/chops were evaluated for subjective color, sensory, pH, Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances, and aerobic and Lactobacillus plate counts. No significant differences ( P > 0.05) for treatment effects were found for subjective color analysis in beef and pork. Sensory, pH, and TBARS also did not display a significant treatment effect in beef and pork. Aerobic and Lactobacillus plate counts showed a treatment effect ( P < 0.05). However, when comparing plate counts by day, d 3 and d 6 were determined to be the same in both control and treated strip steaks. In pork chops, plate counts from d 6 were shown to be significantly ( P < 0.05) different from both d 0 and d 3 in both control and treated chops. In this study, an application of Lactobacillus by dipping was proven to have no significant treatment effect on the quality and sensory characteristics of beef strip steaks and pork loin chops. Lactobacillus bacteria displayed no adverse effects on off flavors, TBARS values, or color of beef and pork over 6 d of retail display. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of specific Lactobacillus strains as antimicrobials, and their specific effect on the quality and sensory characteristics of meat products.