Characterization of Micrococcaceae isolated from salt used for Spanish dry-cured ham

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The microbial flora of salt used in the production of Spanish dry-cured ham was studied. The results indicated that Micrococcaceae constituted the predominant flora. Identification of the 369 isolates belonging to the family Micrococcaceae revealed that 60% belonged to genus Staphylococcus, 25% to Micrococcus, 6% to Kocuria, 5.4% to Dermacoccus and 0.5% to Stomatococcus. The species most often isolated was Staph. xylosus (28.9%), followed by M. lylae (21.4%), Staph. equorum (18.55%) and D. nishinomiyaensis (5.4%). The results indicate that the salt during salting process of dry-cured hams offers an ecosystem suitable for the survival of the staphylococci and micrococci.

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