Bacon with a culture of lactic acid-forming bacteria, Pediococcus acidilactici, plus 0.7% sucrose and 40 or 80 mg sodium nitrite/kg (Wisconsin Process), and control bacon with 120 mg sodium nitrite/kg but no lactic acid bacteria and sucrose, were produced at three commercial bacon plants under production conditions. The bacon was stored under refrigeration for 5 to 8 wk, then subjected to sensory analyses by an experienced sensory panel. Quantitative descriptive visual analysis was performed on uncooked as well as cooked samples, and the cooked samples were served for quantitative descriptive sensory analysis. Results indicated that the test bacon with reduced amounts of sodium nitrite was as acceptable as the control bacon with no sugar and lactics, with the 80 mg/kg nitrite-bacon being the most preferred of all. These results and the results of botulinal challenge and nitrosamine tests indicate that the test process can be a satisfactory alternative to processing bacon by the conventional procedure with 120 mg sodium nitrite/kg.

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Author notes

1Food Research Institute.

2Department of Food Science.