Assessment of Lactobacillus paracasei F2I2 as a Possible Biopreservative for Raw Pork
Raw meats sold in the public market at ambient temperature (25 C) are prone to contamination with foodborne pathogens. Lactic acid bacteria with antimicrobial properties can be used as an economical approach in preserving raw meat. This study aimed to evaluate the potential of Lactobacillus paracasei F2I2 (LP) as a possible biopreservative for raw pork under laboratory and typical public market conditions. Spraying, rinsing, and dipping were tested as means of applying the LP suspension, with spraying as the most efficient method. LP-sprayed and untreated meat were monitored for 6 hours (h) under the prevailing market conditions. Microbiological counts, cooking qualities, and physicochemical parameters were evaluated. Roasted pork samples were subjected to a preference ranking test. Results showed that the application of LP significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the rate of increase of staphylococci in raw pork after 8 h at laboratory conditions. The treatment also significantly (p < 0.05) retarded the growth of aerobic bacteria and coliforms after 3 and 6 h, respectively, under public market conditions. No negative effect on the meat cooking qualities and degree of preference was observed. However, due to the initially high levels of coliform (>3.29 log CFU/g) and staphylococcal (>3.48 log CFU/g) counts posing considerable threats to food safety, the effect on reduction was not sufficient to keep the meat within acceptable microbiological standards. Though results indicated that LP has been shown to have potential as biopreservative for raw pork, it cannot be used as a remedial intervention for poor microbiological quality.