In recent years, Brazil was consolidated as a leader in beef exports, with estimative that in 2020 it will supply 44.5 % of the world market. Despite promising growth prospects, there are still many obstacles in the production chain of Brazilian beef to be surpassed. Microbial spoilage is undoubtedly one of the major problems faced because of the intrinsic characteristics of meat and typical storage conditions. This process has been extensively studied, though most of the methods used are culture-dependent and do not allow complete identification of microbial species involved. "Omic" tools, such as metagenomics and metabolomics have the potential to revolutionize the studies of microbial ecology in order to allow a greater understanding of the spoilage process. Despite this, there is still a lack of studies on the microbial ecology of Brazilian beef vacuum packed, especially in dark cutters. The incidence of dark firm dry (DFD) meat is high in Brazil and their intrinsic characteristics favor the growth of microbial groups, leading to a reduced shelf life. Thus, this project will investigate the diversity and microbial succession of Brazilian vacuum-packaged beef during storage, through an approach combining metagenomics, metabolomics and predictive modeling. The outputs of the project are expected to contribute to the understanding of microbial ecology of Brazilian vacuum-packaged beef as well as to generate scientific information to implement measures aiming at establishing quality standards for this product.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: