% salt + % moisture
100 = brine concentration
3.5% + 59%
.035 + .59
05.600 or 5.60%
c. Requirements Vary. Dried beef containing 50 percent moisture and 3.5
percent salt would have a brine concentration of 6.54 percent. The ratio of salt to total
moisture accounts for the relatively small quantities of salt necessary to inhibit bacteria.
Thus, cooked pork may require only five percent salt to inhibit the production of toxin by
Clostridium botulinum organisms, whereas ten percent salt might be required for the
same inhibitory action in dextrose broth. It has been observed that in different media of
the same moisture content, there may be more salt required to prevent the formation of
Clostridium botulinum toxin in one than in the other. The Clostridium botulinum
organism is commonly found in canned meat products and cured meat products. There
will normally be sufficient salt present to keep the Clostridium botulinum organisms in a
spore-forming state, so that there will be no toxin produced. There must always be
sufficient acid or salt to keep the Clostridium botulinum organisms in a spore-forming
d. Salt Loving Organisms. There is a group of bacteria classified as halophiles
("salt loving") that will grow in the presence of high concentration of salt. Some of these
organisms will even grow in a saturated (26 percent) or supersaturated salt solution.
Bacteria that will grow in a salt concentration of tenpercent or higher are classified as
halophiles. There are also many varieties of yeast and mold that will grow in a salt
concentration above ten percent.