Several smoking conditions were examined with the objective of enhancing the numbers of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) by natural means in vacuum-packaged cold-smoked salmon during 21 days of storage at 5°C. Three combinations of salting, drying, and smoking were used: (i) dry salting × time of salting (2 or 6 h); (ii) wet salting (6 h) × dry salting (6 h) × with or without sugar; and (iii) wet salting (6 h) × dry salting (6 h) × different times of smoking (2 or 6 h of drying and 2 or 6 h of smoking). Two batches were processed for each set of conditions. Determinations of pH and salt content in the water phase were carried out for products in each treatment. Microbiological analyses (total viable count, total LAB, Lactobacillus spp., and Enterobacteriaceae) also were conducted at the beginning of storage (t0) and after 21 days of refrigerated storage (t1). There were differential increases in total LAB and lactobacilli during the storage period according to the treatment performed. The most effective treatment to enhance LAB growth was6hof dry salting with sugar, 6 h of drying, and 2 h of smoking. These salting-drying-smoking conditions also selected the LAB as the dominant flora at the end of the storage period. The LAB promoted by these processing parameters seem to be potentially useful protective cultures because of their anti-Listeria activity. From the results of this research, we conclude that it is possible to enhance the growth of LAB in general and that of inhibitory strains in particular by suitable choices of processing parameters.

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