Process Optimization and Quality Improvement of Fermented Foods and Beverages

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 6629

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Food Science, National Research Council, ISA-CNR, Avellino, Italy
Interests: fermented foods; lactic acid bacteria (LAB); yeasts; food microbiology; food quality; PCR-based techniques; starter cultures; probiotic; antimicrobial activity
Institute of Food Science, National Research Council, ISA-CNR, Avellino, Italy
Interests: lactic acid bacteria; fermented foods and beverages; microbial communities; yeasts; starter cultures; stress response in LAB during food processing and transit through the gastro-intestinal tract
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microbial fermentations, which were mainly used to preserve raw plant and/or animal matrices, are today increasingly used to improve the sensorial features, shelf-life and health properties of fermented foods. Numerous microorganisms, through their metabolic activity, can improve the flavour, nutritional and health properties of fermented foods and beverages. Consequently, scientific and industrial interest is increasingly directed towards the microbial-driven fermentations for the formulation of new fermented foods and beverages with safe, healthy and functional properties.

Despite the many favourable properties of fermentation and the microorganisms traditionally used in food fermentation, there are still process optimisation problems that need to be overcome. Optimising fermentation procedures is necessary to identify the best processing conditions that increase the yield of a production process and lead quality characteristics in the desired direction.

Therefore, we invite you to submit your recent research in this area to the Special Issue of Foods under the title “Process Optimization and Quality Improvement of Fermented Foods and Beverages". This Special Issue aims to cover recent studies addressing technological, microbiological, biochemical, nutritional and health aspects for the delivery of better, safer and more cost-effective fermented food products and beverages.

Dr. Tiziana Di Renzo
Dr. Anna Reale
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 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

  • optimization
  • processing technologies
  • food quality
  • fermentation
  • fermented beverages
  • fermented foods
  • starter culture
  • microorganism
  • lactic acid bacteria
  • yeast

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 1874 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Zhenjiang Aromatic Vinegar Production Using a Novel Dry Gelatinization Process
by Ke Wang, Yuxuan Shi, Jiaxue Feng, Yi Zhao, Hao Zhu, Di Chen, Xiaojie Gong, Meihui Fang and Yongjian Yu
Foods 2024, 13(7), 1071; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13071071 - 31 Mar 2024
Viewed by 460
Abstract
The traditional process of producing Zhenjiang aromatic vinegar faces challenges such as high water usage, wastewater generation, raw material losses, and limitations in mechanization and workshop conditions. This study introduces and evaluates a novel dry gelatinization process, focusing on fermentation efficiency and the [...] Read more.
The traditional process of producing Zhenjiang aromatic vinegar faces challenges such as high water usage, wastewater generation, raw material losses, and limitations in mechanization and workshop conditions. This study introduces and evaluates a novel dry gelatinization process, focusing on fermentation efficiency and the vinegar flavor profile. The new process shows a 39.1% increase in alcohol conversion efficiency and a 14% higher yield than the traditional process. Vinegar produced through the dry gelatinization process has a stronger umami taste and a higher lactic acid concentration. Both processes detected 33 volatile substances, with the dry gelatinization process showing a notably higher concentration of 2-methylbutanal, which imparts a distinct fruity and chocolate aroma. These findings suggest that the dry gelatinization process outperforms the traditional process in several aspects. Full article
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22 pages, 4415 KiB  
Article
Variations in Ecuadorian Cocoa Fermentation and Drying at Two Locations: Implications for Quality and Sensory
by Stefanie Streule, Susette Freimüller Leischtfeld, Martina Galler, Dominik Motzer, Monja Poulose-Züst and Susanne Miescher Schwenninger
Foods 2024, 13(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010137 - 30 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1068
Abstract
In Ecuador, various processes are applied during cocoa post-harvesting. This study, therefore, explored fermentation parameters across two locations with 2–7 independent runs, focusing on temperature, microbial counts, pH during fermentation and drying, and their impact on cocoa bean quality. Factors including fermentation devices [...] Read more.
In Ecuador, various processes are applied during cocoa post-harvesting. This study, therefore, explored fermentation parameters across two locations with 2–7 independent runs, focusing on temperature, microbial counts, pH during fermentation and drying, and their impact on cocoa bean quality. Factors including fermentation devices (jute bags, plastic bags, and wooden boxes), pre-drying, turning during fermentation, fermentation duration, and drying temperature were investigated. Fermenting in plastic bags without pre-drying or turning and fermenting in jute bags for only 40 ± 2.0 h yielded low maximal fermentation temperatures Tmax (31.1 ± 0.4 °C and 37.6 ± 1.8 °C), leading to bitter, astringent, woody, and earthy cocoa liquor. Longer fermentation (63 ± 6 h) in wooden boxes with turning (Wt) and in jute bags with pre-drying and turning (Jpt) achieved the highest Tmax of 46.5 ± 2.0 °C, and a more acidic cocoa liquor, particularly in Wt (both locations) and Jpt (location E). Therefore, it is recommended to ferment for a minimum duration from day 1 to 4 (63 ± 6 h), whether using plastic bags (with mandatory pre-drying) or jute bags (with or without pre-drying or turning). Furthermore, this study underscores the risks associated with excessively high drying temperatures (up to 95.2 ± 13.7 °C) and specific dryer types, which can falsify cut-tests and introduce unwanted burnt-roasted off-flavors in the cocoa liquor. Full article
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9 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Effect of Solar Pre-Drying and Yeast Starter Inoculation Treatments on the Chemical Composition of Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) Beans from Southwestern Colombia
by Juan Florencio Tejeda, Jéssica Arango-Angarita and Jairo Leonardo Cuervo
Foods 2023, 12(24), 4455; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12244455 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 614
Abstract
In Southwestern Colombia, cocoa clones are cultivated in which productivity characteristics predominate over bean quality. In this study, cocoa beans of the CCN-51 clone harvested in the Tumaco region (Nariño, Colombia) were fermented following four different treatments: (1) spontaneously (at room temperature for [...] Read more.
In Southwestern Colombia, cocoa clones are cultivated in which productivity characteristics predominate over bean quality. In this study, cocoa beans of the CCN-51 clone harvested in the Tumaco region (Nariño, Colombia) were fermented following four different treatments: (1) spontaneously (at room temperature for 120 h) in traditional conditions (Control); (2) traditional processing with a pre-drying (sun-dried for 24 h) treatment (PD); (3) with fermentation (for 120 h) after inoculation of a yeast starter culture (YS); and (4) including both treatments, pre-drying and yeast inoculation (PD + YS). Chemical composition, fatty acids, total polyphenol, methylxanthines (theobromine and caffeine) and lactic acid content of cocoa beans were determined. Chemical and fatty acid composition and theobromine content were not affected by the different fermentation treatments applied (p > 0.05). When analyzing total polyphenol content, YS (16.62 mg/g) and PD + YS (17.74) treatments significantly decreased (p < 0.05) the content of these compounds at the end of the fermentation process, affecting cocoa flavour, while PD treatment decreased (p < 0.05) the caffeine content (0.68 mg/g) of cocoa beans. Finally, lactic acid content decreased because of both inoculation of yeast starter (1.11 mg/g) and mainly the pre-drying treatment (0.60). In conclusion, solar pre-drying in the open air and the inoculation of yeast starter treatments could improve the final quality of cocoa beans. Full article
16 pages, 2448 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Sea Urchin as an Ingredient on the Physicochemical, Microbiological, and Sensory Properties of Fish Sauce Fermentation
by Mauricio Arango-Herrán, Fini Sánchez-García, Víctor M. Palacios and Ana M. Roldán
Foods 2023, 12(21), 3958; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12213958 - 29 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1153
Abstract
The consequences of using 25% whole or shelled sea urchin as an ingredient in anchovy sauce on its fermentation and development of its physicochemical properties after 20 days fermentation was studied. Two varieties of fish and sea urchin sauce were made with or [...] Read more.
The consequences of using 25% whole or shelled sea urchin as an ingredient in anchovy sauce on its fermentation and development of its physicochemical properties after 20 days fermentation was studied. Two varieties of fish and sea urchin sauce were made with or without shell at 1:2:1 ratio (salt:fish:sea urchin) plus a control fish sauce at 1:3 ratio (salt:fish). All sauces were fermented at 40–50 °C for 20 days, where for the first 7 days the preparation remained in a static phase. During their fermentation, pH, salt concentration, aw, TVB-N, TMA, total nitrogen, formaldehyde nitrogen, amino nitrogen, and ammonium nitrogen, as well as aerobic mesophiles and lactic acid bacteria were monitored. The fermentation of the experimental sauces proved to follow an evolution rather similar to the control sauce. The whole and shelled sea urchins provided the necessary microbial and enzymatic load to trigger an adequate hydrolysis of the fish and the production of total nitrogen (16.0–17.6 g/L), formaldehyde nitrogen (15.1–16.0 g/L), and amino nitrogen (0.7–0.8 g/L) of the same order as the control sauce, despite the lower fish content. According to TMA (9.2–13.1 mg N/100 g), VBT (40.0–47.2 mg N/100 g) contents, and pH levels (5.41–5.46), no deviation of the fermentation process was observed under the experimental conditions (salt content, temperature, and agitation after the static phase). Quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA) sensory revealed that the use of sea urchin results in high quality products characterized by their aromas of crustaceans and mollusks. The present study investigates the potential use of shelled and even whole sea urchin as an ingredient for the preparation of high quality fish sauces. Full article
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18 pages, 3804 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Microbial Dynamics of Kombucha Consortia upon Continuous Backslopping in Coffee and Orange Juice
by Maret Andreson, Jekaterina Kazantseva, Esther Malv, Rain Kuldjärv, Reimo Priidik and Mary-Liis Kütt
Foods 2023, 12(19), 3545; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12193545 - 24 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1436
Abstract
The kombucha market is diverse, and competitors constantly test new components and flavours to satisfy customers’ expectations. Replacing the original brewing base, adding flavours, or using “backslopping” influence the composition of the symbiotic starter culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Yet, deep characterisation [...] Read more.
The kombucha market is diverse, and competitors constantly test new components and flavours to satisfy customers’ expectations. Replacing the original brewing base, adding flavours, or using “backslopping” influence the composition of the symbiotic starter culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Yet, deep characterisation of microbial and chemical changes in kombucha consortia in coffee and orange juice during backslopping has not been implemented. This study aimed to develop new kombucha beverages in less-conventional matrices and characterise their microbiota. We studied the chemical properties and microbial growth dynamics of lactic-acid-bacteria-tailored (LAB-tailored) kombucha culture by 16S rRNA next-generation sequencing in coffee and orange juice during a backslopping process that spanned five cycles, each lasting two to four days. The backslopping changed the culture composition and accelerated the fermentation. This study gives an overview of the pros and cons of backslopping technology for the production of kombucha-based beverages. Based on research conducted using two different media, this work provides valuable information regarding the aspects to consider when using the backslopping method to produce novel kombucha drinks, as well as identifying the main drawbacks that need to be addressed. Full article
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21 pages, 5328 KiB  
Article
Experimental Prototype of Electromagnetic Emissions for Biotechnological Research: Monitoring Cocoa Bean Fermentation Parameters
by Tania María Guzmán-Armenteros, Jenny Ruales, José Villacís-Chiriboga and Luis Santiago Guerra
Foods 2023, 12(13), 2539; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12132539 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1189
Abstract
A Helmholtz-type electromagnetic emission device, which uses an oscillating magnetic field (OMF), with potential applications in biotechnological research, was built and validated. The coils were connected to an alternating current (AC) generator to generate a 0.5 to 110 mT field at their center. [...] Read more.
A Helmholtz-type electromagnetic emission device, which uses an oscillating magnetic field (OMF), with potential applications in biotechnological research, was built and validated. The coils were connected to an alternating current (AC) generator to generate a 0.5 to 110 mT field at their center. OMF measurements were performed with a Hall effect sensor with a digital signal connection (Arduino nano) and data output to a PC using LabVIEW v2017SP1 software. The fermentation process of the cocoa bean variety CCN 51, exposed to four levels of OMF density for 60 min (0, 5, 40, and 80 mT/60 min), was analyzed. Different variables of the grain fermentation process were evaluated over six days. The ANOVA test probed the device’s linearity, accuracy, precision, repeatability, reliability, and robustness. Moreover, CCN 51 cocoa beans’ EMF-exposure effect was evaluated under different OMF densities for 60 min. The results show the validity of the equipment under working conditions and the impact of EMF (electromagnetic fields) on the yield, deformation, and pH of cocoa beans. Thus, we concluded that the operation of the prototype is valid for use in biotechnological studies. Full article
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