Improvement of meat starter assertiveness upon optimization of their distribution in the meat matrix

An optimized, finely disperse distribution of bacterial cells in the sausage matrix can minimize the potential risks (e.g. formation of biogenic amines, transfer of antibiotic resistance determinants), which emerges from autochtonous contaminants. The sensorics of the product can be harmonized, and strains can be assigned knowledge-based to process parameters of product types and technological demands of SMEs.

The distribution of bacterial starter cells into all cavities of the sausage matrix enables a colonization resistance against autochtonous competitors and therefore enhances the assertiveness of the starter strains. The dispersion of cells is tested in dependence of technological parameters of sausage preparation as well as microbiological and biochemical (surface) properties of the starter strains.

project leader: Rudi F. Vogel

participating scientists: Matthias A. Ehrmann, Carolin Schiffer, Dorothee Janssen, Lara Eisenbach

open positions: none

collaborations: Christian Hertel (




Development of a non-invasive optical detection method for the individualized assessment of meat spoilage in modified atmosphere packaged meats

Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is a common way to prolong the shelf life of fresh meat and display it in an attractive way to the consumer. The major inhibitoy gas used is CO2, which strongly reduces growth of the aerobic microbiota. Red meat (e.g. beef) is packaged in CO2 / O2 for the maintenance of red colour. Frequently also white meat (e.g. poultry) are packaged in O2-containing atmospheres. Upon spoilage the O2 content changes concomittantly with the change of the sensorially perceptable spoilage and the composition of spoilage microbiota. In this project we therefore develop a oxygen sensor enabling individualized assessment of shelf life of MAP packaged meats. This shall enable reduction of MAP meats discarded by the consumer.

project leader: Rudi F. Vogel

participating scientists: Maik Hilgarth, Sandra Kolbeck

open positions: none

collaborations: Lehrstuhl für Lebensmittelverpackungstechnik (Horst-Christian Langowski)




Control of psychrophilic photobacteria in meat spoilage

Psychrophilic photobacteria, which are previously known to live as (light emitting) symbionts in deep sea fish and are involved in fish and seafood spoilage, can also be found in meat spoilage. In this project  the control is seeked over these bacteria by elucidation of their contamination routes, minimization if contamination and development of detection methods. Furthermore, an indepth understanding is obtained into their (in situ) metabolism, behaviour in modified atmosphere and skin packages, interaction with other members of the meat spoiling microbiota, as well as under high pressure by using (meta)omic approaches.

project leader: Rudi F. Vogel

participating scientists: Maik Hilgarth, Sandra Fuertes-Perez, Philippa Hauschild

open positions: none

collaborations: none




Exploitation of natural ressources for the establishment of stable consortia in sourdoughs

Sourdough preparations in dried or pasty form are increasingly used worldwide for the production of baked goods in a large variety. However, currently  no high-quality products are available in the market with a shelf life > 6 months. This impedes international marketing, logistics and applications. The aim of this project is therefore the industrial implementation of products with a longer shelf life. This is achieved by sustainable use of biological ressources of fermentative microorganisms in sourdough fermentations. Stable consortia of sourdough microbiota are developed enabling the development of shelf stable sourdough preparations.

The required tasks are performed by two research partners and include (1) identification of stable consortia, (2) characterization of stress tolerance of yeasts and bacteria, (3) establishment of monitoring tools, (4) determination of microbiota dynamics in sourdoughs, (5) elucidation of interactive mechanisms, (6) production of stable sourdough preparations, (7) determination of shelf life of sourdough preparations, (8) application and sensorial evaluation of products, and (9) assessment of ressource savings.

project leader: Rudi F. Vogel

participating scientists: Matthias Ehrmann

open positions: Esther Rogalski, Julian Schuster

collaborations: Markus Brandt (