Lactic acid starter cultures


  • I am trying to make the same venison snack sticks that we have made at our local butcher they will sell me their seasoning mix but they said I needed Lactic acid starter cultures which they wouldn’t sell me. The told me that is what gave their sticks the “tang”. My question is would “ECA” do the same thing?

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Green Mountain Grill Masterbuilt

    Christian Beckman Yes the ECA will give your meat a “tangy” flavor as well as act as a cure accelerator so no need to hold the meat overnight. Once you are done with mixing and stuffing your casings you can go straight to the smoker or however you plan on doing your thermal processing.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Christian Beckman What @Boudreaux says is correct but there may be one more thing you want to think of. They MAY have been doing a dry cured product or they might be doing a 12 hour (or so) fermentation and then cooking them. Also, one other thing to keep in mind is that the Lactic Acid Starter Culture isnt going to be quite as tangy as ECA. Some people say that even at the same pH a product made from Lactic Acid Starter Culture will not be as tangy. I don’t think I agree with that but there are people who claim it to be true. So if you are looking to mimic what they have been doing I would start out a little lighter on the ECA, not a lot but instead of using 4 oz to 25 lb of meat maybe try 2.5-3 oz and experiment to see what works for you.

    Can you give us some more information on the seasoning they gave you? Is it designed for a slow cure or do they just ferment it for 12 (or so) hours and then go to the smoker? The reason I ask is if they are slow curing it the cure that came along with the package might not work for a standard snack stick process.


  • Jonathon I wish I could give you more info but after they told me about the LASC they kind of scared me off and I didn’t buy their seasoning and being a newbie I didn’t ask the questions about what their curing process was. Their sticks are pepperoni flavored with a lot of tang and a great snap when you bite into them. They did tell me they used natural lamb casing 20-22 mm.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Christian Beckman POkay, well then as long as you are planning on using the type of smoke (cook) schedule we recommend then there is no reason that the Encapuslated Citric Acid (ECA) wouldn’t work perfectly for your needs! Pepperoni Sticks are great and I love it when they have lots of tang! When I made pepperoni here this year my one regret was putting ANY smoke on them, they were better just with the seasoning and the ECA!

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