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The Mycobiota of Speck, a Traditional Tyrolean Smoked and Cured Ham

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Speck is a ham specialty product traditionally produced in South Tyrol (Italy) and North Tyrol (Austria) by farmers, butcheries, and meat industries. To date, nothing has been learned about fungi associated with this smoked and cured meat. Therefore, it was the main objective of this study to assess the typical mycobiota of Speck in relation to the different production types and the geographic provenance. A total of 121 Speck samples from North Tyrol and South Tyrol was analyzed. From 63 isolated fungal species, only a few can be regarded as typical colonizers: Eurotium rubrum and Penicillium solitum were the dominating species in all types and parts of Speck (crust, meat, and fat). Eight other Penicillium spp. were relatively frequent. The species diversity increased from industrially produced Speck to products from butcheries and farmers, and it was higher in all types of South Tyrolean products. Among the typical mycobiota, Penicillium verrucosum, Penicillium canescens, and Penicillium commune are known as potentially mycotoxigenic.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Microbiology, Leopold-Franzens-University Innsbruck, Technikerstrasse 25, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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