A total of 115 isolates of lactic acid bacteria were screened from traditional fermented foods in Guizhou Province, People's Republic of China. The cholesterol removal rates of 86 isolates ranged from 7.29 to 25.66%, and 18 isolates showed a cholesterol removal rate of more than 15%. According to the results of physiological and biological tests, 13 isolates were selected to determine the fermentation performance; 9 isolates—MT-4, MT-2, PJ-15, SR2-2, SQ-4, SQ-7, ST2-2, ST2-6, and NR1-7—had high tolerance of bile salt and acid and had a survival rate of more than 96% under pH 3.0 and 0.3% bile salt. ST2-2, SR2-2, NR1-7, SQ-4, and MT-4 had high survival rate in different concentrations of NaCl and NaNO2 under different temperatures. According to BLAST comparison results of the 16S rRNA sequence in the GenBank database and the genetic distance of the 16S rRNA sequence with an ortho-connected algorithm, SR2-2, NR1-7, and ST2-2 were identified as Lactobacillus plantarum, MT-4 was identified as Lactobacillus pentosus, and SQ-4 was identified as Lactobacillus paraplantarum. Moreover, strains SQ-4 and MT-4 were added to fermented beef. Results showed that the fermented beef had delicious taste and was popular to consumers because of its proper pH, pleasant colors, high viable cell count, and suitable content of bound and immobilized water. These results provide a basis for the development of new starter formulation for the production of high-quality fermented meat products.

  • A total of 115 LAB isolates were obtained from traditional fermented products in Guizhou, China.

  • Five strains had high tolerance to acid and bile salt and a high survival rate in NaCl and NaNO2.

  • Lactobacillus pentosus MT-4 and L. paraplantarum SQ-4 could be potential meat starters.

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