Meat Biotechnology

pp 91-127

Molecular Methods for Identification of Microorganisms in Traditional Meat Products

  • Luca CocolinAffiliated withDipartimento di Valorizzazione e Protezione delle Risorse Agroforestali, University of Turin, Faculty of Agriculture
  • , Paola Dolci
  • , Kalliopi Rantsiou

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Traditional fermentations are those that have been used for centuries and even pre-date written historical records. Fermentation processes have been developed to upgrade plant and animal materials, to yield a more acceptable food, to add flavor, to prevent the growth of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, and to preserve food without refrigeration (Hesseltine & Wang, 1980). Among fermented foods, sausages are the meat products with a longer history and tradition. It is often assumed that sausages were invented by the Sumerians, in what is Iraq today, around 3000 BC. Chinese sausage làcháng, which consisted of goat and lamb meat, was first mentioned in 589 BC. Homer, the poet of The Ancient Greece, mentioned a kind of blood sausage in the Odyssey (book 20, verse 25), and Epicharmus (ca. 550 BC–ca. 460 BC) wrote a comedy entitled “The Sausage”.