Lactic Acid Lactates

Lactic acid (pKa = 3.79) is produced naturally during fermentation of foods by lactic acid bacteria including Lacto-coccus, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Pediococcus, Leucon-ostoc, and Carnobacterium. While the acid and salts act as preservatives in food products, their primary uses are as pH control agents and flavorings. Lactic acid inhibits Clostridium botulinum, C. perfringens, C. sporogenes, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Yersinia enterocolitica (7,20,21). Lactic acid at 1-2% reduces Enterobacteriaceae and aerobic mesophilic microorganisms on beef, veal, pork, and poultry and delays growth of spoilage microflora during long-term storage of products (7). Sodium lactate (2.5-5.0%) inhibits C. botulinum, C. sporogenes, L. monocytogenes, and spoilage bacteria in various meat products (7,22,23).

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