Listeria protection

A matter of culture

Successful protection against listeria

Maximum safety plays an increasingly important role in the production of meat products. Many food producers are increasingly focusing on the safety aspects of their products and want more support in ensuring continuous product quality.

The subject of listeria is currently a much discussed one and could not be more topical. The small pathogenic bacteria, which are not visible to the human eye, occupy food manufacturers. Meat and sausage products provide an ideal breeding ground for this type of microorganism. The demands and specifications placed on raw sausage products by food retailers and processing companies are enormous. The consumer also expects continuous quality. Today, with the right starter culture and professional control of the fermentation plant, it is possible to achieve the desired aW and pH values almost precisely with every batch produced.

Microorganisms in food

Starter- & Protective Cultures

Meat- and sausage products provide, like many other foods, an ideal breeding ground for both beneficial and harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Harmful microorganisms and pathogenic germs spoil food up to full inedibility, which can lead to dangerous food-borne infections. On the other hand, beneficial microorganisms are not only able to suppress spoilage microorganisms and therewith increase food safety, they also significantly improve colour and taste of the products.

Cultures fort the sausage- and meat industry

Maturation, Stabilisation & Protection

Starter cultures are microorganisms that support the fermentation process of raw sausage products and raw cured products with their microbiological and enzymatic properties in many ways. M-CULTURE® starter- and protective cultures from M Food Group meet the highest standards of the sausage- and meat industry. They ensure best fermentation results, promote outstanding sensory properties and guarantee optimal product safety.

A defined and standardised addition of M-CULTURE® starter cultures contributes to:

Best possible reproducibility


Optimal process control


Highest product safety and quality

Moreover, M-CULTURE® protective cultures are effective in the following key areas:

Effect of competitive inhibition (inhibition effect)


pH-value reduction caused by lactic acid bacteria for suppression of pathogenic microorganisms


Formation of antagonistic metabolites (bacteriocins) and inhibition of gram-positive bacteria such as listeria

Listeria counts during fermentation

Test results

Comments on the results:

The application of the protective cultures had two main effects with a positive impact on food safety:

  1. The listeria counts were already reduced within the lag phase (first 24 h of fermentation), were food safety is critical due to high pH and aw-value. In the non-protected samples, a slight increase of the listeria counts was detectable.

  2. Apart from that and of greater relevance regarding food safety is the fact, that already after 5 days fermentation, all samples with the added protective culture were negative in 25g, whereas in the nonprotected samples, Listeria monocytogenes was still detectable on levels of about 20 cfu/g (see Fig. above, listeria counts at day 5).

Experts for competent advice

Listeria monocytogenes

The EU-regulation Nr. 2073/2005

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