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Last update: May 2021

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Bacteria of the chicken meat

Bacteria & chicken
High throughput sequencing to describe the microbial communities.

Chicken meat is the 2nd most consumed meat in the world. It is inevitably contaminated with microorganisms during slaughter and then processing. These contaminants, including pathogenic and spoilage bacteria, can survive or grow during storage. They must be controlled to guarantee the quality and safety of the products.
The recent development of high throughput DNA sequencing technologies make it possible to describe the composition of the bacterial communities present by eliminating the culture steps. This technology was used on 10 batches of commercial chicken thighs kept cold in a modified atmosphere and analyzed before their expiration date. A list of potentially altering bacteria associated with the batches of meat analyzed was identified such as Brochothrix thermosphacta, Pseudomonas, or Carnobacterium maltaromaticum. The 10 batches showed differences in the relative abundance of these different bacterial species. This study highlighted the influence of the nature of the protective atmosphere on the development of these bacteria and possible competition between species.
These results will make it possible to find ways to better control contaminants and ultimately reduce losses and wastage linked to microbiological contamination.
Partners: UMR SECALIM conducted this study in the framework of a project funded by the  region Pays de la Loire.
Publication : Rouger, A., Moriceau, N., Prévost, H., Remenant, B., & Zagorec, M. (2018). Diversity of bacterial communities in French chicken cuts stored under modified atmosphere packaging. Food Microbiology, 70, 7-16.