Metabolomics of Spoilage Microorganisms

Spoilage microorganisms grow and produce different molecules that are involved in off-odor and off-flavor of foods. The spoilage depends on the microorganisms’ ability to adapt to the food ecosystem conditions and to metabolize the matrix. In particular they produce different compounds such as esters, ketones, aldehydes, hydrocarbons, alcohols, benzenoids, terpenoids, nitrogen, and sulfur compounds, amines, and volatile fatty acids (Dainty et al., 1985). All these compounds can characterize either the aroma or the spoilage. “Volatile fatty acids and ketones contribute with fatty/gamy/cheesy/dairy notes; aldehydes with their fatty/grassy odor considered fresh and agreeable at low levels, but unpleasant and rancid when concentrations rise; alcohols and esters with their ethereal/fruity/sweet nuances; benzene, sulfur, and terpene compounds with reminiscent plastic, cabbage, and floral/citrus odor, respectively.” The equilibrium among these compounds generates pleasant and typical meat and meat product aromas; on the other hand a disequilibrium creates off-odor and off-flavor. In particular in these activities either SSO or other microorganisms are involved


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