Bactoferm Substitute: What You Can Use Instead

If you’re going to make your own fermented sausages, you’ll need a starter culture.

Starter cultures are bacteria used for making dry sausages, and Bactoferm is one of the most popular brands out there for this purpose.

But what if you don’t have access to Bactoferm or simply want to try another option?

Some alternatives you can try as your bactoferm substitute include Van Hees starter cultures, Hela Germet starter cultures, or BiTEC starter cultures. These are all other manufacturers that also make reliable starter cultures for fermenting sausage. Outside of these, you can also use fermento or even yogurt or buttermilk powder, which will kickstart the fermentation process.

In this article, you’ll find several alternatives that can serve as a Bactoferm substitute and ingredients that you can use to make your own.

bactoferm substitute ground meat on petri dish

What Makes a Good Bactoferm Substitute?

To answer this question, we first need to understand how starter cultures work.

In essence, they produce lactic acid and different beneficial bacteria inside the meat. They’re used in various concentrations and have different effects on the meat during fermentation, such as changing the color, flavor and preventing harmful bacteria development.

In this way, different starter cultures will enhance color, smell, or meat protection.

The use of specific bacteria, or their combination, will also largely depend on the style of production (traditionally fermented or fast-fermented sausages).

Furthermore, specific cultures are used for flavor enhancement, surface coverage, nitrate reduction, and bio-protection.

Starter cultures can be frozen or freeze-dried and contain a single bacteria or several groups combined, depending on the type of sausage you want to produce.

Bactoferm is one of several brands that offer different combinations of bacteria for many different purposes.

Bactoferm is popular for several different reasons.

First, you can choose various combinations of bacteria to find what’s best for your meat, depending on what you would like to achieve.

Secondly, you can be sure that you’re getting the best product since Bactoferm is of superior quality.

It’s also widely available and easy to order, and it’s excellent for beginners; each Bactoferm product offers detailed instructions on the use and effects of certain bacteria.

Despite all of Bactoferm’s positive aspects, you may want to try something new. But is there a suitable alternative available?

A good Bactoferm substitute should be a product that enables you to achieve your goals in sausage fermentation. Ensure it contains the strains of bacteria needed for successful and healthy production and that it comes from a reliable manufacturer.

That said, several manufacturers offer different alternatives that can be used as Bactoferm substitutes. In addition, several ingredients can be used to achieve similar effects as Bactoferm. Let’s have a look at them.

Bactoferm Alternatives to Try

Other Manufacturers

Van Hees

Van Hees is a manufacturer that offers various starter cultures that can be used as a Bactoferm substitute.

For example, their medium-fast starter culture Primal SK Natur can be used as a direct substitute for Bactoferm F-RM-52. It’s suitable for medium-fast and fast fermentation while providing mild acidification, aroma, and protection against potential pathogens.

This represents an excellent option for people who don’t have Bactoferm available and/or cannot order it.

Van Hees also offers slow starter cultures, which are used for Southern and Northern European sausages.

Every Primal starter culture provides a safe maturing process, intense meat color, and the typical taste of raw sausage.

Hela Germet

Hela Germet offers a variety of different starter cultures. The best-known one is the starter culture created for producing Northern and Southern European sausages.

It’s responsible for achieving flavor in dry sausages, and it does so by slowly decreasing the pH value of the meat.

It’s mainly used to obtain a mild taste typical of these kinds of European sausages while also influencing the color of the meat.


BiTEC offers starter cultures for traditional and fast ripening of fermented sausages.

They offer protection from harmful bacteria and have a range of different combinations of starter cultures designed explicitly for achieving different results.

Among the more popular products is their LS 25 culture, intended for rapid acidification of North American and North European sausage types. This culture is used to achieve a dry sausage taste, and it also influences the color and stability of the mixture.

All of these starter cultures from different manufacturers can be used as substitutes for other Bactoferm products.

They represent safe, reliable options and are widely used for different types of sausages.

As with Bactoferm, you can choose the right combination of bacteria from other manufacturers to get the best results.


This product consists of cultured whey protein and skimmed milk, producing a tangy flavor to the meat.

Fermento is used in semi-dry cured sausage. This allows you to reduce the fermentation time and stuff your sausages immediately instead of waiting several days for the fermentation process.

It’s mainly used for summer sausages, and one of its many advantages is that it doesn’t have to be kept in the fridge.

Fermento has a few substitutes of its own – click here to learn more.

Other Culture Forms

Besides buying starter cultures from different manufacturers, you should know there are also several ingredients you can easily use as Bactoferm substitutes, like:

Yogurt or Buttermilk Powder

These ingredients can be used for meat fermentation. Therefore, they can be used as starter cultures.

Many people decide to go with this option for different reasons.

First, they can create an individual, unique flavor.

Secondly, this option tends to cost less money.

Thirdly, the desired starter culture might not be available and easy to purchase, so people decide to go with the option of making one.

However, the disadvantage of creating starter cultures is that, in this case, there is no guarantee when it comes to safety.

In Summary: Let’s Meat the Cultures

The process of food preservation has existed for thousands of years. There are so many options available today.

Starter cultures can be chosen based on the effect you want to achieve, the type of meat, the style, etc.

Bactoferm is one of the most popular brands, but many substitutes can be used instead. And if you don’t like them or can’t order them, you can make one yourself.

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