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One Health, Fermented Foods, and Gut Microbiota
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Microbiology of Fermented Foods and Beverages

Theodoros Varzakas
Department of Food Science and Technology, University of the Peloponnese, Antikalamos, 24100 Kalamata, Greece
Foods 2020, 9(11), 1660;
Submission received: 30 October 2020 / Revised: 7 November 2020 / Accepted: 9 November 2020 / Published: 13 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiology of Fermented Foods and Beverages)
Fermented foods are consumed all over the world and show increasing trends. They play many roles, from preservation to food security, improved nutrition and social well-being. Different microorganisms are involved in the fermentation process and the diversity of the microbiome is high.
Varzakas et al. [1] have reported on the different fermented vegetables worldwide and the versatility of microorganisms involved. They highlighted soybean tempe and other soybean paste products, sauerkraut, fermented olives, fermented cucumber and kimchi. Moreover, salting procedures are well explained along with the role of lactic acid bacteria in fermented vegetables.
One of these types of microorganisms involved in fermented foods is lactic acid bacteria, which has a strong antibacterial effect due to the production of bacteriocins [2].
Zabat et al. [3] utilized 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to profile the microbial community of naturally fermented sauerkraut throughout the fermentation process and analyzed the bacterial communities of the starting ingredients and the production environment. They showed that the sauerkraut microbiome is rapidly established after fermentation begins and that the community is stable through fermentation and packaging for commercial sale.
On the other hand, yeasts such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been added in the dough of bakery products to improve organoleptic properties and reduce spoilage. In this direction, the potential use of L. plantarum UFG 121 in the biomass of the dough has been explored, as a biocontrol agent in bread production and a species- or strain-dependent sensitivity of the molds was suggested to the same microbial-based control strategy [4]. Moreover, Kara Ali [5] studied the production of the biomass of S. cerevisiae on an optimized medium using date extract as the only carbon source in order to obtain a good yield of the biomass. The biomass production was carried out according to the central composite experimental design (CCD) as a response surface methodology.
Finally, Bell et al. [6,7], highlighted the role of fermented foods and beverages on gut microbiota and debated for the need of transdisciplinary fields of One Health to enhance communication. They addressed nutritional and health attributes and reported that they are not included globally in world food guidelines. They also referred to some traditional African fermented products.
Fermented foods have well-known uses in human health and could help in the prevention of chronic diseases from the general gut health, to immune support, skin health, cholesterol control and lactose intolerance. More research is required in the direction of consumption of fermented foods, their benefits and daily administration.


This research received no external funding.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Varzakas, T.; Zakynthinos, G.; Proestos, C.; Radwanska, M. Fermented Vegetables. In Minimally Processed and Refrigerated Fruits and Vegetables; Yildiz, F., Wiley, R.C., Eds.; Springer: Boston, MA, USA, 2017; Chapter 15; pp. 537–584. [Google Scholar]
  2. Agriopoulou, S.; Stamatelopoulou, E.; Sachadyn-Król, M.; Varzakas, T. Lactic Acid Bacteria as Antibacterial Agents to Extend the Shelf Life of Fresh and Minimally Processed Fruits and Vegetables: Quality and Safety Aspects. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 952. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. Zabat, M.A.; Sano, W.H.; Wurster, J.I.; Cabral, D.J.; Belenky, P. Microbial Community Analysis of Sauerkraut Fermentation Reveals a Stable and Rapidly Established Community. Foods 2018, 7, 77. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  4. Russo, P.; Fares, C.; Longo, A.; Soano, G.; Capozzi, V. Lactobacillus plantarum with Broad Antifungal Activity as a Protective Starter Culture for Bread Production. Foods 2017, 6, 110. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  5. Kara Ali, M.; Outili, N.; Ait Kaki, A.; Cherfia, R.; Benhassine, S.; Benaissa, A.; Kacem Chaouche, N. Optimization of Baker’s Yeast Production on Date Extract Using Response Surface Methodology (RSM). Foods 2017, 6, 64. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  6. Bell, V.; Ferrão, J.; Pimentel, L.; Pintado, M.; Fernandes, T. One Health, Fermented Foods, and Gut Microbiota. Foods 2018, 7, 195. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  7. Bell, V.; Ferrão, J.; Fernandes, T. Nutritional Guidelines and Fermented Food Frameworks. Foods 2017, 6, 65. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
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Varzakas, T. Microbiology of Fermented Foods and Beverages. Foods 2020, 9, 1660.

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Varzakas T. Microbiology of Fermented Foods and Beverages. Foods. 2020; 9(11):1660.

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Varzakas, Theodoros. 2020. "Microbiology of Fermented Foods and Beverages" Foods 9, no. 11: 1660.

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