Characterization of specific spoilage organisms (SSOs) in vacuum‐packed ham by culture‐plating techniques and MiSeq next‐generation sequencing technologies

Research paper by Agnieszka Piotrowska‐Cyplik, Kamila Myszka, Jakub Czarny, Katarzyna Ratajczak, Ryszard Kowalski, Róża Biegańska‐Marecik, Justyna Staninska‐Pięta, Jacek Nowak, Paweł Cyplik

Indexed on: 14 Jun '16Published on: 13 Jun '16Published in: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture


Knowledge regarding microaerophilic and anaerobic specific spoilage organisms (SSOs) is crucial for an appropriate evaluation of vacuum‐packed ham. The objective of this study was to characterize the SSO community in vacuum‐packed ham by a culture‐dependent technique and MiSeq next‐generation sequencing (NGS) platform. The relation between changes among the SSO group in the ham and changes in sensory characteristics of the product was also assessed.In the study, conventional microbiological analyses were employed in order to establish the participation of several groups of microorganisms in the deterioration of vacuum‐packed ham. The diversity of the SSO group in the product was further assessed with the use of MiSeq NGS technology. The bacteria identified in sliced cooked ham belonged mostly to four phyla, namely Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. A temperature of 4 °C favoured the development of mesophilic and psychrophilic/psychrotrophic flora, mainly Lactobacillaceae, Enterobacteriaceae and Micrococcaceae families. A high ratio of Brochothrix thermosphacta species and new, cold‐tolerant Clostridium spp. was also observed. The growth of these microorganisms facilitated changes in the pH value and organoleptic characteristics of the product.This study confirms that the combination of culturing and MiSeq NGS technology improves the microbial evaluation of food. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry