• Cooked meat product;
  • Lactobacillus plantarum ;
  • predictive microbiology;
  • sensory quality;
  • shelf life prediction


Lactobacillus plantarum growth in a vacuum-packaged cooked meat product under different storage temperatures (4, 10 and 16 °C) and the relation between the microorganism growth and sensory quality were investigated. The Gompertz model was fitted to experimental counts of L. plantarum showing a good fitting to growth curves at different temperatures. A root-square secondary model and linear model were satisfactorily fitted to estimated growth rates (inline image) and lag times (inline image), respectively. The sensory attributes (colour, flavour, taste, appearance) were also evaluated due to their importance to the global quality (Q). The sensory deterioration was detected several days after L. plantarum reached the stationary phase, that is, 59, 45 and 25 days for 4, 10 and 16 °C, respectively. According to results, sensory deterioration was related to time when microorganism reached late stationary phase, phenomenon known as ‘delayed change’.