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Fermentation 2017, 3(4), 49;

Spontaneous Food Fermentations and Potential Risks for Human Health

Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment Sciences, University of Foggia, Via Napoli 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy
Cereal Research Centre, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, 71122 Foggia, Italy
EnolabERI BioTecMed, Universitat de València, 46100 Valencia, Spain
Promis Biotech srl, Via Napoli 25, 71122 Foggia, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiology and Food Hygiene)
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Fermented foods and beverages are a heterogeneous class of products with a relevant worldwide significance for human economy, nutrition and health for millennia. A huge diversity of microorganisms is associated with the enormous variety in terms of raw materials, fermentative behavior and obtained products. In this wide microbiodiversity it is possible that the presence of microbial pathogens and toxic by-products of microbial origin, including mycotoxins, ethyl carbamate and biogenic amines, are aspects liable to reduce the safety of the consumed product. Together with other approaches (e.g., use of preservatives, respect of specific physico-chemical parameters), starter cultures technology has been conceived to successfully dominate indigenous microflora and to drive fermentation to foresee the desired attributes of the matrix, assuring quality and safety. Recent trends indicate a general return to spontaneous food fermentation. In this review, we point out the potential risks for human health associated with uncontrolled (uninoculated) food fermentation and we discuss biotechnological approaches susceptible to conciliate fermented food safety, with instances of an enhanced contribution of microbes associated to spontaneous fermentation. View Full-Text
Keywords: fermented food; fermentation; beverage; safety; risks; spontaneous fermentation; starter cultures; spoilage microbes; pathogens; contaminant fermented food; fermentation; beverage; safety; risks; spontaneous fermentation; starter cultures; spoilage microbes; pathogens; contaminant

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Capozzi, V.; Fragasso, M.; Romaniello, R.; Berbegal, C.; Russo, P.; Spano, G. Spontaneous Food Fermentations and Potential Risks for Human Health. Fermentation 2017, 3, 49.

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