Biochemical and Physical Changes in Goatskin during Bacterial Putrefaction

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Vimudha Muralidharan
Renganath Rao Ramesh
Balaraman Madhan
Saravanan Palanivel


The quality of the raw animal skin decides the final quality of leather. Preservation processes of raw animal skins until leather making predominantly uses salting as a popular method owing to the bacteriostatic effect provided by salt. The detrimental impact caused by the usage of salt from the leather processing is well established. This necessitates the quest for developing an economical, efficacious and environment-friendly preservation system. The present work investigates the effects on the physical and chemical characteristics of the animal skin caused by the putrefactive bacteria with respect to time. Physical changes were studied using visual examination, SEM analysis, and histological staining techniques where the structural deterioration was evidently established. Changes in biochemical aspects were studied by observing degradation in proteoglycan levels and collagen from the goat skin taken at various time intervals. Furthermore, the microorganisms that were responsible for the degradation of various skin components were isolated from the skin over the period of 36 hours from flaying. The occurrence of collagen-degrading organisms within 6 hours of initiation of putrefaction and increased number of proteolytic and collagenolytic bacteria at the end of 36-hours observation were indicative of tremendous skin spoilage leading to deteriorated quality of raw material.

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