Special Issue "Development and Application of Starter Cultures"

A special issue of Fermentation (ISSN 2311-5637). This special issue belongs to the section "Fermentation for Food and Beverages".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2023 | Viewed by 299

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Roberta Comunian
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Agris Sardegna, Agenzia Regionale per la Ricerca in Agricoltura, Associated Member of the JRU MIRRI-IT, Loc. Bonassai, SS291 km 18.600, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Interests: food microbiology; fermented food; microbial biodiversity; microbial culture collections; lactic acid bacteria; starter cultures; fingerprint; antibiotic resistance
Dr. Luigi Chessa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Agris Sardegna, Agenzia Regionale per la Ricerca in Agricoltura, Associated Member of the JRU MIRRI-IT, Loc. Bonassai, SS291 km 18.600, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Interests: food microbiology; fermented food; microbial biodiversity; microbial culture collections; lactic acid bacteria; starter cultures; fingerprint; antibiotic resistance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent decades, starter cultures have been developed to aid raw material processing with the aim of obtaining different types of fermented food products. In fact, properly developed selected starters represent a convenient solution to easily and safely carry out the fermentation when the concentration of the microbiota colonizing the production environment and the raw material itself turns out to be inadequate, or natural starter cultures are difficult to obtain and manage.

Different purposes can be pursued when developing a starter culture: a) selecting a low, defined number of species/strains, on the basis of their strong aptitude to fulfil the biochemical processes required by each production technology and for their suitability to be grown in the laboratory, or b) trying to reproduce autochthonous biodiverse natural cultures where an indefinite number of species and strains, starter and nonstarter (but crucial during the whole fermentation and ripening of food), coexist in equilibrium. Both choices have pros and cons.

On one hand, selected cultures, because of and despite their high technological efficiency, easily become the dominant microbiota of the product, causing a dramatic decrease in microbial biodiversity and loss of peculiar sensory characteristics of fermented food. In fact, this kind of cultures are widely applied, at high concentration, to industrial level productions that do not possess geographic niches and typicity.

On the contrary, natural microbial communities have a strains composition which is not reproducible in any place other than that of their origin, contributing to preserve microbial biodiversity and enriching products with peculiar sensory features that bind them to the territory. Indeed, autochthonous natural starter cultures usually characterize the most typical and high quality agri-food products. However, their technological performance is not standardized and their use is not risk-free since, together with useful autochthonous microorganisms, even pathogen or spoilage ones could be potentially inoculated and allowed to contaminate the product.

The goal of this Special Issue is to host innovative or review papers facing the challenge of developing starter cultures or, at least, laying the foundation for them, which could be applicable at artisanal, pilot or industrial scale, able to guaranteeing safety, quality constancy, technological performances reproducibility, preserving biodiversity, and peculiar sensory characteristics usually linked to traditional products, while overcoming the problems associated with the daily propagation of natural cultures. Furthermore, papers dealing with if and how fermented products consumption could affect human gastro-intestinal tract microbiota, and eventually the health of the consumers, would be welcome.

Dr. Roberta Comunian
Dr. Luigi Chessa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fermentation is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • starter cultures
  • fermented food
  • microbial biodiversity
  • metagenomics
  • traditional foods
  • food safety
  • antibiotic resistance
  • microbial culture collections
  • gut microbiota
  • probiotics

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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