Special Issue "Advances in the Use of Beneficial Microorganisms to Improve Nutritional and Functional Properties of Fermented Foods"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 6391

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Carlo Giuseppe Rizzello
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Interests: food microbiology; bioactive compounds; sourdough; lactic acid bacteria
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Palmira De Bellis
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA), National Research Council (CNR), Via G. Amendola, 122/O 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: food microbiology; functional food; probiotic bacteria; Lactic acid bacteria; Bacillus spp.; microbial diversity; bread

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Health organizations have recently highlighted the need to improve the nutritional and functional characteristics of foods and beverages as a strategy to prevent chronic disease and enhance, globally, the life quality. Many staple foods are characterized by critical issues such as high glycemic response, low biological value of proteins, high concentration of salt and fat, presence of ingredients associated with hypersensitivity reactions, and often they lack of functional compounds such as fibers and polyphenols. The use of fermentation and selected starters, such as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts, has long been considered an excellent tool to improve the nutritional/functional characteristics of foods by the synthesis of bioactive compounds, or by the degradation of antinutrional factors, while ameliorating their organoleptic and technological features. In recent years, natural fermented foods, novel food matrices and their microbial communities have been studied in order to select microorganisms with characteristics useful for the nutritional/functional improvement of traditional and novel fermented foods.

We welcome authors to contribute with their knowledge and expertise to further elucidate the relationship between  microorganisms and fermented food quality, safety and health promoting features, including:

  • selection and use of new microbial starters for the fermented food sector
  • set-up of new fermentation protocols for making ingredients and foods with implemented nutritional/functional features
  • synthesis of bioactive compounds
  • valorisation of non-conventional food matrices by fermentation
  • improvement of traditional protocols for making fermented foods by using innovative biotechnological options aimed at obtaining nutritional and functional advantages in the final products
  • microbial diversity in fermented foods
  • microbial starters for the control of food pathogens and alterative microorganisms
  • microorganisms and modulation of bioaccessibility/bioavailability
  • probiotic features of selected starters
  • microbial metabolic pathways related to the functional properties of fermented foods
  • microbial genetic traits linked to specific food quality attributes.

Original papers as well as reviews are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Carlo Giuseppe Rizzello
Dr. Palmira De Bellis
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. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2200 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

  • lactic acid bacteria
  • yeasts
  • fermentation
  • functional foods and beverages
  • bioactive compounds
  • phenolics
  • phytochemicals
  • novel foods
  • food technology
  • product preservation
  • food quality
  • food safety
  • health promoting features
  • food microbiota
  • starter cultures
  • bioaccessibility/bioavailability

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Improvement of Sourdough and Bread Qualities by Fermented Water of Asian Pears and Assam Tea Leaves with Co-Cultures of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Foods 2022, 11(14), 2071; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11142071 - 12 Jul 2022
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Qualities of sourdough and sourdough bread using fermented water from Asian pears and Assam tea leaves with Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299v and Saccharomyces cerevisiae TISTR 5059 as starter cultures were evaluated. Changes in the growth of lactic acid bacteria and yeast, pH, sourdough height, [...] Read more.
Qualities of sourdough and sourdough bread using fermented water from Asian pears and Assam tea leaves with Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299v and Saccharomyces cerevisiae TISTR 5059 as starter cultures were evaluated. Changes in the growth of lactic acid bacteria and yeast, pH, sourdough height, total phenolic contents (TPCs) and antioxidant activities detected by ORAC, FRAP and DPPH radical scavenging assays were monitored during sourdough production. Mature sourdough was achieved within 4 h after 18 h retard fermentation and used for bread production. The bread was then analyzed to determine chemical and physical properties, nutritional compositions, TPCs, antioxidant activities and sensory properties as well as shelf-life stability. Results showed that fermented water significantly promoted the growth of yeast and increased TPCs and antioxidant activities of sourdough. Compared to common sourdough bread, fermented water sourdough bread resulted in 10% lower sugar and 12% higher dietary fiber with improved consumer acceptability; TPCs and antioxidant activities also increased by 2–3 times. The fermented water sourdough bread maintained microbial quality within the standard range, with adequate TPCs after storage at room temperature for 7 days. Fermented water from Asian pears and Assam tea leaves with L. plantarum 299v and S. cerevisiae TISTR 5059 as starter cultures improved dough fermentation and bread quality. Full article
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Article
Nutritional Function and Flavor Evaluation of a New Soybean Beverage Based on Naematelia aurantialba Fermentation
Foods 2022, 11(3), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11030272 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 660
Abstract
The soy beverage is a healthy product rich in plant protein; however, its unpleasant flavor affects consumer acceptance. The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of using Naematelia aurantialba as a strain for the preparation of fermented soybean beverages (FSB). [...] Read more.
The soy beverage is a healthy product rich in plant protein; however, its unpleasant flavor affects consumer acceptance. The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of using Naematelia aurantialba as a strain for the preparation of fermented soybean beverages (FSB). Increases in Zeta potential, particle size, and viscosity make soy beverages more stable. We found that nutrient composition was increased by fermenting N. aurantialba, and the antioxidant activity of soybean beverages significantly increased after 5 days of fermentation. By reducing the content of beany substances such as hexanal and increasing the content of 1-octen-3-ol, the aroma of soybean beverages fermented by N. aurantialba changed from “beany, green, and fatty” to “mushroom and aromatic”. The resulting FSB had reduced bitterness but considerably increased sourness while maintaining the fresh and sweet taste of unfermented soybean beverages (UFSB). This study not only provides a theoretical basis for the market promotion of FSB but also provides a reference for basidiomycetes-fermented beverages. Full article
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Article
Antihypertensive Peptides from Ultrafiltration and Fermentation of the Ricotta Cheese Exhausted Whey: Design and Characterization of a Functional Ricotta Cheese
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2573; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112573 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 771
Abstract
Aiming at valorizing the ricotta cheese exhausted whey (RCEW), one of the most abundant by-products from the dairy industry, a biotechnological protocol to obtain bioactive peptides with angiotensin-I-converting enzyme (ACE)—inhibitory activity was set up. The approach was based on the combination of membrane [...] Read more.
Aiming at valorizing the ricotta cheese exhausted whey (RCEW), one of the most abundant by-products from the dairy industry, a biotechnological protocol to obtain bioactive peptides with angiotensin-I-converting enzyme (ACE)—inhibitory activity was set up. The approach was based on the combination of membrane filtration and fermentation. A Lactobacillus helveticus strain selected to be used as starter for the fermentation of the ultrafiltration protein-rich retentate (R-UF) obtained from RCEW. The fermented R-UF was characterized by a high anti-ACE activity. Peptides responsible for the bioactivity were purified and identified through nano-LC–ESI–MS/MS. The sequences identified in the purified active fractions of the fermented R-UF showed partial or complete overlapping with previously reported κ-casein antihypertensive fragments. The fermented R-UF was spray-dried and used to enrich ricotta cheese at different fortification level (1 and 5% w/w). An integrated approach including the assessment of the microbiological, chemical, functional, textural, and sensory properties was used to characterize the fortified products. A significantly higher anti-ACE activity was found in the ricotta cheese fortified with fermented R-UF as compared to the control and to the samples obtained with the unfermented R-UF fraction at the same levels of fortification. In particular, a 100 g portion of the ricotta cheese produced at 5% fortification level contained circa 30 mg of bioactive peptides. The fortification led to a moderate acidification, increased hardness and chewiness, and decreased the milk odor and taste of the ricotta cheese as compared to the control, while flavor persistence and sapidity improved. Full article
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Article
Bioprocessing of Barley and Lentil Grains to Obtain In Situ Synthesis of Exopolysaccharides and Composite Wheat Bread with Improved Texture and Health Properties
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1489; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071489 - 27 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 915
Abstract
A comprehensive study into the potential of bioprocessing techniques (sprouting and sourdough fermentation) for improving the technological and nutritional properties of wheat breads produced using barley and lentil grains was undertaken. Dextran biosynthesis in situ during fermentation of native or sprouted barley flour [...] Read more.
A comprehensive study into the potential of bioprocessing techniques (sprouting and sourdough fermentation) for improving the technological and nutritional properties of wheat breads produced using barley and lentil grains was undertaken. Dextran biosynthesis in situ during fermentation of native or sprouted barley flour (B or SB) alone or by mixing SB flour with native or sprouted lentil flour (SB-L or SB-SL) by Weissella paramesenteroides SLA5, Weissella confusa SLA4, Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides DSM 20193 or Weissella confusa DSM 20194 was assessed. The acidification and the viscosity increase during 24 h of fermentation with and without 16% sucrose (on flour weight), to promote the dextran synthesis, were followed. After the selection of the fermentation parameters, the bioprocessing was carried out by using Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides DSM 20193 (the best LAB dextran producer, up to 2.7% of flour weight) and a mixture of SB-SL (30:70% w/w) grains, enabling also the decrease in the raffinose family oligosaccharides. Then, the SB-SL sourdoughs containing dextran or control were mixed with the wheat flour (30% of the final dough) and leavened with baker’s yeast before baking. The use of dextran-containing sourdough allowed the production of bread with structural improvements, compared to the control sourdough bread. Compared to a baker’s yeast bread, it also markedly reduced the predicted glycemic index, increased the soluble (1.26% of dry matter) and total fibers (3.76% of dry matter) content, giving peculiar and appreciable sensory attributes. Full article
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Article
Metagenetic Analysis for Microbial Characterization of Focaccia Doughs Obtained by Using Two Different Starters: Traditional Baker’s Yeast and a Selected Leuconostoc citreum Strain
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1189; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061189 - 25 May 2021
Viewed by 806
Abstract
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) decisively influence the technological, nutritional, organoleptic and preservation properties of bakery products. Therefore, their use has long been considered an excellent strategy to improve the characteristics of those goods. The aim of this study was the evaluation of microbial [...] Read more.
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) decisively influence the technological, nutritional, organoleptic and preservation properties of bakery products. Therefore, their use has long been considered an excellent strategy to improve the characteristics of those goods. The aim of this study was the evaluation of microbial diversity in different doughs used for the production of a typical Apulian flatbread, named focaccia. Leavening of the analyzed doughs was obtained with baker’s yeast or by applying an innovative “yeast-free” protocol based on a liquid sourdough obtained by using Leuconostoc citreum strain C2.27 as a starter. The microbial populations of the doughs were studied by both a culture-dependent approach and metagenetic analyses. The flours used for dough preparation were also subjected to the same analyses. The metagenetic analyses were performed by sequencing the V5–V6 hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene and the V9 hypervariable region of the 18S rRNA gene. The results indicate that these hypervariable regions were suitable for studying the microbiota of doughs, highlighting a significant difference between the microbial community of focaccia dough with baker’s yeast and that of the dough inoculated with the bacterial starter. In particular, the dough made with baker’s yeast contained a microbiota with a high abundance of Proteobacteria (82% of the bacterial population), known to be negatively correlated with the biochemical properties of the doughs, while the Proteobacteria in dough produced with the L. citreum starter were about 43.5% lower than those in flour and dough prepared using baker’s yeast. Moreover, the results show that the L. citreum C2.27 starter was able to dominate the microbial environment and also reveal the absence of the genus Saccharomyces in the dough used for the production of the “yeast-free” focaccia. This result is particularly important because it highlights the suitability of the starter strain for obtaining an innovative “yeast-free” product. Full article
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Review

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Review
Antifungal Preservation of Food by Lactic Acid Bacteria
Foods 2022, 11(3), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11030395 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1589
Abstract
Fungal growth and consequent mycotoxin release in food and feed threatens human health, which might even, in acute cases, lead to death. Control and prevention of foodborne poisoning is a major task of public health that will be faced in the 21st century. [...] Read more.
Fungal growth and consequent mycotoxin release in food and feed threatens human health, which might even, in acute cases, lead to death. Control and prevention of foodborne poisoning is a major task of public health that will be faced in the 21st century. Nowadays, consumers increasingly demand healthier and more natural food with minimal use of chemical preservatives, whose negative effects on human health are well known. Biopreservation is among the safest and most reliable methods for inhibiting fungi in food. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are of great interest as biological additives in food owing to their Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) classification and probiotic properties. LAB produce bioactive compounds such as reuterin, cyclic peptides, fatty acids, etc., with antifungal properties. This review highlights the great potential of LAB as biopreservatives by summarizing various reported antifungal activities/metabolites of LAB against fungal growth into foods. In the end, it provides profound insight into the possibilities and different factors to be considered in the application of LAB in different foods as well as enhancing their efficiency in biodetoxification and biopreservative activities. Full article
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