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Identification and process origin of bacteria responsible for cavities and volatile off-flavour compounds in artisan cooked ham


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Two types of spoilage in cooked hams were investigated. One was a result of the growth of Weissella viridescens, which produces cavities in the muscles of hams after cooking. The origin of W. viridescens was shown to be the brine used in the preparation of the ham. After its production, the brine is usually left at room temperature for several hours before being cooled and used, allowing the growth of the microorganism. The second types of spoilage is because of Lactobacillus sakei, Leuconostoc mesenteroides and Leuconostoc carnosum, which grew during the 4–6 °C storage period of cooked hams packaged under vacuum. The spoilage consisted of the production of various molecules such as hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, alcohols, esters and sulphur compounds. Oxidative and auto-oxidative phenomena also occurred during spoilage.