The goal of this study was to determine the combined effect of (i) the oxygen transmission rate (OTR) of packaging film, often called oxygen film permeability or film permeability and (ii) temperature on the growth rate of the main prevailing organism, Lactobacillus sp., in 100% CO2-packed sterile meat fillets. Multifactorial experiments were designed to study the effect of OTR and temperature (0, 5, 8, and 10°C) on the growth rate of Lactobacillus sp. inoculated on sterile meat fillets under 100% CO2 and aerobic conditions. The packaging conditions (air or 100% CO2) and the film OTR significantly affected the growth rate of Lactobacillus sp. only at temperatures higher than 0°C. Low-permeable films with different OTRs did not affect the final population of the bacterium, but the growth rate was significantly changed. The correlation of an ephemeral microbial association with a low spoilage potential (e.g., lactic acid bacteria) or their growth retardation cannot always be assumed unless other determinants (e.g., OTR) of equal importance are taken into account. The present study provides information that can be of benefit to industry and the consumer.

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