Effects of sodium nitrite and heat treatment on cholesterol oxidation products and sensorial charachteristics of dry fermented sausages
Cholesterol oxidation products (COPs) and selected sensorial characteristics (color, odor and flavor) of Sremska sausages industrially produced without or with use of sodium nitrite as an additive and pasteurized at the end of drying were investigated. Both groups of sausages, nitrite free and with added nitrite, were divided into three subgroups and treated as follows: the first subgroup were not subjected to any heat treatment (unpasteurized); the second subgroup were heat-treated (pasteurized) at 47°C for 6.5 hours, while the third subgroup were pasteurized at 53°C for 22.1 minutes. Analysis of COPS were performed after maximum shelf life and eight cholesterol oxidation products common for this type of food were determined in all samples. Control sausages had the highest sum of COPs of all subgroups, while absence of sodium nitrite and application of pasteurization treatments resulted in significantly lower levels of COPs. Pasteurized sausages with added nitrite had lower levels of COPs compared to unpasteurized products, while the lowest levels of cholesterol oxidation were determined in pasteurized nitrite-free sausages. This study shown that the selected pasteurization regimes applied to dry fermented sausages produced without sodium nitrite as an additive did not increase oxidation of cholesterol, but even have potential to improve their lipid oxidation status. Additionally, the selected sensorial characteristics of all tested Sremska sausages were evaluated with high scores, regardless of the presence/absence of the additive, nitrite, or the application of pasteurization regimes.