The Microbiome of an Active Meat Curing Brine
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Traditional food products are important to our culture and heritage, and to the continued success of the food industry. Many of the production processes associated with these products have not been subjected to an in-depth microbial compositional analysis. The traditional process of curing meat, both preserves a natural protein source, as well as increasing its organoleptic qualities. One of the most important salting processes is known as Wiltshire curing. The Wiltshire process involves injecting pork with a curing solution and immersing the meat into microbial-rich brine which promotes the development of the distinct organoleptic characteristics. The important microbial component of Wiltshire brine has not been extensively characterized. We analyzed the key microbial component of Wiltshire brine by performing microbiome analysis using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies. This analysis identified the genera, Marinilactibacillus, Carnobacterium, Leuconostoc, and Vibrio as the core microflora present in Wiltshire curing brine. The important food industrial applications of these bacteria were also assessed. The bacterial diversity of the brine was investigated, and the community composition of the brine was demonstrated to change over time. New knowledge on the characterization of key microbiota associated with a productive Wiltshire brine is an important development linked to promoting enhanced quality and safety of meat processing in the food industry.
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