Abstract: This study examined the feasibility of coupling dehydration-impregnation by soaking (DIS) with a subsequent lactic fermentation in the treatment of meat. A series of beef fillets were subjected to 3 different DIS treatments. The resulting DIS-treated fillets had 3 different characteristics in terms of water activity, salt, and fermentable sugars contents. Fillets treated with the DIS with the shortest immersion time (5 h) and the highest salt concentration in the DIS bath (100 g/L) were inoculated with Lactobacillus sakei. A control group was left without inoculation. After 24 h incubation at 25 °C, only inoculated fillets showed signs of lactic fermentation. At 24 h, these fillets had a d-lactic acid content of 68 μmol/g dry basis and a high population of L. sakei revealed by methods of plate count and quantitative PCR. DIS could therefore be compatible with a subsequent fermentation step by L. sakei.
Practical Application: Traditional meat preservation processes often combine unit operations such as salting, smoking, fermentation, and drying. In tropical countries, high temperatures and high relative humidity, poor infrastructure, and improper slaughterhouse practices explain the need for more drastic processes (more salt, more water loss) for meat preservation. Dehydration-impregnation by soaking (DIS) could be used as a rapid pretreatment of meat, in order to counteract tropical conditions. This study validates a novel approach whereby DIS is coupled with lactic fermentation by surface inoculation with Lactobacillus sakei. With a final drying step this process could be used for the treatment of whole meat pieces.