Paper of the month: Bacterial community interactions influence shelf-life of meat

vacuum packed beefThe Australian meat industry has an envious position in the global marketplace, primarily due to the

 extraordinarily long shelf-life of vacuum-packaged beef—as much as 30-weeks! Yet, factors responsible for this market advantage are not fully understood. One factor may be the types and numbers of 'good' bacteria in Australian beef, and the unique ways they interact and minimise spoilage.

Bacteria interact in any given niche, including the food environment, where they cooperate and compete with each other. This is the first comprehensive report of interactions between numerous bacteria in vacuum-packaged beef, and the first report to demonstrate how network maps can be used to illustrate bacterial relationships in food.

These findings markedly improve our understanding about how bacterial interact in food, and possibly why Australian beef is very unique.

Bacterial interaction schematic 

Citation:  Zhang, P., Baranyi, J., and M.L. Tamplin. Inter-strain interactions among bacteria from Australian vacuum-packaged refrigerated beef. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 81:2753-2761.

View the full paper (PDF)

Published on: 12 Jun 2015 9:48am