Submitted to: Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, Third Edition
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/9/2006
Publication Date: 2/1/2007
Citation: Breidt, Jr., F., McFeeters, R. F., and Diaz-Muniz, I. 2007. Fermented Vegetables. In: Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 3rd Ed. M. P. Doyle and L. R. Beuchat, eds, ASM Press, Washington, D.C. p. 783-793
Interpretive Summary: We present a broad overview of commercial vegetable fermentations in the United States. The chapter is primarily focused on cucumber pickle and sauerkraut fermentations. The information may be relevant to other types of vegetable fermentations, but pickles and sauerkraut make up the majority of vegetable fermentations in the US. Specific aspects covered include the history of US vegetable fermentation research, an overview of the biochemistry and microbiology of commercial fermentations, detailed biochemistry of fermented vegetables, and the genetics of the bacteria that carry out the fermentations. This chapter is for the third edition of an advanced food microbiology text book. The chapter is not meant as a comprehensive review of available literature, but instead focuses on recent innovations in fermentation research.
Technical Abstract: This chapter is organized into several sections. The first has information on the history of vegetable fermentation research in the US, dating back to the late 1880s. A overview of commercial cucumber and sauerkraut fermentation practices follows, focusing on the US market, although there is some mention of olive fermentation and kimchi fermentation. Included are details of the succession of microflora (predominantly lactic acid bacteria) that carry out these fermentations, the sugars and organic acids present, the times and temperatures of fermentation, sizes and types of commercial fermentation tanks typically used, and other technical details. A more detailed discussion of the biochemistry of vegetable fermentations is presented as well. This discussion focuses on cell wall structure as it relates to texture (primarily for fermented cucumbers), flavor compounds, and other details such as glucosinolates or biogenic amines from cabbage which may impact human health. A final section covers recent developments in the genomics of lactic acid bacteria, including Lactobacillus plantarum and Leuconostoc mesenteroides and related lactic acid bacteria which have been recently sequenced.