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Fermented Foods. Foods that have been subjected to the action of micro-organisms or enzymes, in order to bring about a desirable change. Numerous food products owe their production and characteristics to the fermentative activities of microorganisms.

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FermentedFoods

  • Foods that have been subjected to the action of micro-organisms or enzymes, in order to bring about a desirable change.

  • Numerous food products owe their production and characteristics to the fermentative activities of microorganisms.

  • Fermented foods originated many thousands of years ago when presumably micro-organism contaminated local foods.


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Fermented Foods

  • Micro-organisms cause changes in the foods which:

    • Help to preserve the food,

    • Extend shelf-life considerably over that of the raw materials from which they are made,

    • Improve aroma and flavour characteristics,

    • Increase its vitamin content or its digestibility compared to the raw materials.


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Table 1 History and origins of some fermented foods

Approximate year

of introduction

Food

Region

Mushrooms

Soy sauce

Wine

Fermented milk

Cheese

Beer

Bread

Fermented Meats

Sourdough bread

Fish sauce

Pickled vegetables

Tea

4000 BC

3000 BC

3000 BC

3000 BC

2000 BC

2000 BC

1500 BC

1500 BC

1000 BC

1000 BC

1000 BC

200 BC

China

China, Korea, Japan

North Africa, Europe

Middle East

Middle East

North Africa, China

Egypt, Europe

Middle East

Europe

Southeast Asia, North Africa

China, Europe

China


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Fermented Foods

  • The term “biological ennoblement” has been used to describe the nutritional benefits of fermented foods.

  • Fermented foods comprise about one-third of the world wide consumption of food and 20- 40 % (by weight) of individual diets.


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Table 2 Worldwide production of some fermented foods

Quantity(t)

Beverage

Food

Quantity(hl)

1000 million

350 million

Cheese

Yoghurt

Mushrooms

Fish sauce

Dried stockfish

15 million

3 million

1.5 million

300 000

250 000

Beer

Wine


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Table 3 Individual consumption of some fermented foods: average per person per year

Annual

consumption

Food

Country

Beer (I)

Wine (I)

Yoghurt (I)

Kimchi (kg)

Tempeh (kg)

Soy sauce (I)

Cheese (kg)

Miso (kg)

Germany

Italy, Portugal

Argentina

Finland

Netherlands

Korea

Indonesia

Japan

UK

Japan

130

90

70

40

25

22

18

10

10

7


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Table 4 Benefits of fermentation

Raw

material

Fermented

food

Benefit

Preservation

Milk

(Most materials)

Yoghurt, cheese

Enhancement of safety

Vinegar

Beer

Wine

Salami

Gari, polviho azedo

Soy sauce

Fruit

Barley

Grapes

Meat

Cassava

Soybean

Acid production

Acid and alcohol production

Production of bacteriocins

Removal of toxic components

Enhancement of nutritional value

Bread

Kimchi, sauerkraut

Nata de coco

Bifidus milk, Yakult,

Acidophilus yoghurt

Wheat

Leafy veges.

Coconut

Milk

Improved digestibility

Retention of micronutrients

Increased fibre content

Synthesis of probiotic compounds

Improvement of flavour

Coffee beans

Grapes

Coffee

Wine


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Cassava

  • Fresh cassava contains cyanhydric acid (HCN) that should be eliminated from any product originating from cassava to render it fit for human consumption. Depending on the production method (particularly traditional methods) gari could contains up to 20 mg / kg of HCN - against 43 mg / kg for fresh peeled cassava.

  • Gari is a fermented, gelled and dehydrated food produced from fresh cassava. It is a popular diet in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and in other West Africa's countries. The consumption area even expands to Central Africa: Gabon, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville and Angola.

  • Polvilho is a fine tapioca/manioc/cassava flour. it can be found at latino markets in california as "sour starch" (polvilho azedo) or "sweet starch" (polvilho doce)


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Nata de Coco

  • A high fiber, zero fat Philippino dessert.

  • A chewy, translucent, jelly-like food product produced by the bacterial fermentation of coconut milk.

  • Commonly sweetened as a candy or dessert, and can accompany many things including pickles, drinks, ice cream, and fruit mixes.

  • Highly regarded for its high dietary fiber, and its zero fat and cholesterol content.

  • It is produced through a series of steps ranging from milk extraction, mixing, fermentation, separating, cleaning, cutting to packaging.


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Lactic Acid Bacteria

  • Major group of Fermentative organisms.

  • This group is comprised of 11 genera of gram-positive bacteria:

    • Carnobacterium, Oenococcus, Enterococcus, Pediococcus, Lactococcus, Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, Vagococcus, Lactosphaera, Weissells and Lecconostoc

  • Related to this group are genera such as Aerococcus, Microbacterium, and Propionbacterium.


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    Lactic Acid Bacteria

    • While this is a loosely defined group with no precise boundaries all members share the property of producing lactic acid from hexoses.

    • As fermenting organisms, they lack functional heme-linked electron transport systems or cytochromes, they do not have a functional Krebs cycle.

    • Energy is obtained by substrate-level phosphorylation while oxidising carbohydrates.


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    Lactic Acid Bacteria

    • The lactic acid bacteria can be divided into two groups based on the end products of glucose metabolism.

    • Those that produce lactic acid as the major or sole product of glucose fermentation are designated homofermentative.

    • Those that produce equal amounts of lactic acid, ethanol and CO2 are termed heterofermentative.

    • The homolactics are able to extract about twice as much energy from a given quantity of glucose as the heterolactics.


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    Lactic Acid Bacteria

    • All members of Pediococcus, Lactococcus, Streptococcus, Vagococcus, along with some lactobacilliare homofermenters.

    • Carnobacterium, Oenococcus, Enterococcus, Lactosphaera, Weissells and Lecconostoc and some Lactobacilli are heterofermenters

    • The heterolactics are more important than the homolactics in producing flavour and aroma components such as acetylaldehyde and diacetyl.


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    Lactic Acid Bacteria - Growth

    • The lactic acid bacteria are mesophiles:

      • they generally grow over a temperature range of about 10 to 40oC,

      • an optimum between 25 and 35oC.

      • Some can grow below 5 and as high as 45 oC.

    • Most can grow in the pH range from 4 to 8. Though some as low as 3.2 and as high as 9.6.


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    Starter Cultures

    • Traditionally the fermenting organisms came from the natural microflora or a portion of the previous fermentation.

    • In many cases the natural microflora is either inefficient, uncontrollable, and unpredictable, or is destroyed during preparation of the sample prior to fermentation (eg pasteurisation).

    • A starter culture can provide particular characteristics in a more controlled and predictable fermentation.


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    Starter Cultures

    • Lactic starters always include bacteria that convert sugars to lactic acid, usually:

      • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis,

      • Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris or

      • Lactococccus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis.

    • Where flavour and aroma compounds such as diacetyl are desired the lactic acid starter will include heterofermentative organisms such as:

      • Leuconostoc citrovorum or

      • Leuconostoc dextranicum.


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    Starter Cultures

    • The primary function of lactic starters is the production of lactic acid from sugars

    • Other functions of starter cultures may include the following:

      • flavour, aroma, and alcohol production

      • proteolytic and lipolytic activities

      • inhibition of undesirable organisms


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    A good starter CULTURE will:

    • Convert most of the sugars to lactic acid

    • Increase the lactic acid concentration to 0.8 to 1.2 % (Titratable acidity)

    • Drop the pH to between 4.3 to 4.5


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    A single bacterial colony


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    The streak plate technique cells to grow and form colonies on solid media to:

    • Bacteria are “streaked”over the surface of an agar plate so as to obtain single colonies.

    • Obtaining single colonies is important as it enables;

      • the size,

      • shape and

      • colour of the individual colonies to be examined.

      • It can also highlight the presence of contaminating micro-organisms


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    The Streak Plate Technique cells to grow and form colonies on solid media to:



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    Microscopic examination every 20 minutes

    • Can provide information on the size

      and shape of the bacteria

      • Rods (1)

      • Cocci (2)

      • Spiral (3)

    • It cannot provide enough information

      to enable bacteria to be identified


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    Microscopic views of stained bacteria every 20 minutes

    Lactobacillus spp.

    Lactococcus spp.