Comparison of Different Peptidase Substrates for Evaluation of Microbial Quality of Aerobically Stored Meats

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Different aminopeptidase and endopeptidase substrates were assessed for the detection of enzymatic activity of microorganisms collected from the surface of aerobically cold-stored pork and beef. The most sensitive substrates were fluorogenic Ala-7-amino-4-methylcoumarin (Ala-AMC) or Leu-AMC and colorogenic Ala-p-nitroanilide (Ala-pNA). Activity on natural oligopeptides, e.g., bradykinin or αs1 casein fragment 1 to 23, was very low. The correlation coefficient (r) between log surface counts of 66 meat samples and log fluorescence or absorbance after incubation of surface microbial cells for 2 h with Ala- AMC, Leu-AMC, and Ala-pNA was 0.89, 0.83, and 0.82, respectively. A distinct yellow color was obtained with Ala-pNA when the surface count was ∼106 CFU/cm2. Although correlation and sensitivity was better, no clear advantage is obtained with the use of the fluorogenic Ala-AMC or Leu-AMC instead of Ala-pNA, a substrate proposed by Alvarado et al. (J. Food Sci. 57:1330, 1992) for rapidly assessing the microbial quality of refrigerated meat. The correlation coefficient (r) between time of cold storage and surface count was 0.69.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, Agricultural University of Norway, 1432 ├ůs, Norway

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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