The company said that the cultures allow for a faster and very stable pH drop, which has the double benefit of speeding production time – and thereby cutting costs – as well as inhibiting the growth of pathogens such as listeria and salmonella.
Chr. Hansen’s marketing director for meat cultures John Jensen told FoodNavigator.com: “What we traditionally use is cultures that ferment over a relatively long time. There is a lot of flavour development…It’s not a problem if you have an Italian process that runs for weeks but if you want to shorten the process, we are talking about days.”
The new staphylococci strains could change the way salamis are ripened both in Italy and in northern Europe, where consumers have tended to prefer more mildly flavoured salamis, Jensen added. Despite the shorter drying process, salamis retain the same sensory properties of traditionally dried sausage, with good colour, texture and sliceability, which is particularly important as consumers increasingly demand the convenience of pre-sliced packaged salamis.
“Our new starter cultures in combination with the ripening scheme recently developed with an Italian equipment supplier gives a more consistent and reliable production process with stable and equally high quality final products with the typical Italian taste profile,” Jensen said. “Furthermore a much better control of mould on the surface of the sausages has been observed in trials.”
In addition, the cultures give manufacturers the choice between accelerating drying toward the end of the process, in order to give a very hard surface, or slowing the process in order to create a more traditional, high quality flavour profile.
“The choice lies with the producer. We just give him the options,” Jensen said.
He added that the company has seen interest from Italy, as well as from France and Germany, and even as far afield as Papua New Guinea.