Sensory, Physicochemical and Microbiological Characteristics of Venison Jerky Cured with NaCl and KCl

Wannee Tangkham, Frederick LeMieux


Traditionally, jerky is produced from sliced whole muscle marinated in a high sodium chloride (NaCl) concentration and dried. Because a high salt diet has been linked to hypertension, salt substitutes are often recommended as a healthier alternative. However, potassium chloride (KCl), a popular salt substitute may impart an undesired bitterness and metallic aftertaste. The objective of this study was to evaluate specific attributes of venison jerky prepared in three different (NaCl/KCl) salt solutions. Through sensory testing, each preparation was evaluated for consumer product acceptance and purchase intent. Additionally, the venison jerky was assayed for physicochemical characteristics and microbial counts. Using a 9-point hedonic scale, sixty-eight consumers evaluated the jerky for acceptability of flavor, texture, taste, saltiness, bitterness and overall liking. Physicochemical characteristics were evaluated for moisture content, pH, color and TBAR. Jerky was assayed for microbial counts via aerobic plate count, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Campylobacter spp. Results show that jerky prepared with 100% KCl received the most desirable score (8.75), compared to jerky prepared with 100% NaCl (6.28), and jerky prepared with 50% NaCl + 50% KCl (6.13). Acceptability and purchase intent questionnaires indicate jerky prepared with 100% KCl ranked the highest at 86.8% and 70.6%, respectively. Jerky prepared with 100% KCl had the lowest moisture content, TBAR, and a* values (P<0.05). No E. coli, S. aureus and Campylobacter spp. were detected over the 28 day period. Our study suggests that jerky prepared with KCl represents a low sodium alternative to traditional jerky.


venison; jerky; sensory testing; salt substitute; undesirable microorganisms

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Journal of Food Research   ISSN 1927-0887(Print)   ISSN 1927-0895(Online)  E-mail:

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