Special Issue "Microbiota Exploitation for the Development of Innovative and High Added-Value Fermented Food"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 6071

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Luciana De Vero
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
Interests: food microbiology; polyphasic characterization of yeasts and bacteria; selection of starter cultures; microbial bioresources preservation and exploitation; food and beverages fermentation process
Prof. Dr. Andrea Pulvirenti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41121 Modena, Italy
Interests: food microbiology; food sciences and technology; food packaging; food safety
Prof. Dr. Ilaria Mannazzu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Interests: fermented beverages; yeast physiology; yeast biotechnology; microbial interactions; natural antimicrobials non-conventional yeasts, carotenoids
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fermentation of dairy products, vegetables, cereals, meat, and fish, has emerged in human history, almost concomitantly across the different continents, as a strategy for the preservation of raw materials and the production of food and beverages for times of shortage. Since then, humankind has traditionally and empirically utilized fermentation not only for preservation purposes but also for the improvement of the organoleptic properties, texture, digestibility, palatability, and safety of all sorts of food matrices. This has led to the production of a myriad of fermented products that are the result of different cultural preferences and traditions and cover about thirty percent of the human diet, regardless of geographic area and lifestyle. Nowadays, fermentation is widely employed also to enrich food and beverages with beneficial viable microorganisms and/or their metabolites in order to positively impact human health. This result can be achieved either through the exploitation of the wild microbiota naturally associated to raw materials or as the result of the inoculation of selected starters, and requires the characterization, preservation, management, and circulation of microbial diversity.

Keeping in consideration the key words “food microbiota” and “fermentation,” this Special Issue aims to collect original research papers, review articles, and short communications addressing novel and relevant findings on the applications of lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi isolated from food matrices or preserved in culture collections. Of particular interest will be contributions regarding:

  • the characterization, exploitation, and preservation of beneficial microbiota for fermented local-food production
  • the development of high added-value and novel fermented products
  • the reduction of chemical preservatives in food through the production of natural antimicrobials of microbial origin
  • the production of bioactive compounds with health promoting activity

Dr. Luciana De Vero
Prof. Dr. Andrea Pulvirenti
Prof. Dr. Ilaria Mannazzu
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.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Anti-Spoilage Activity and Exopolysaccharides Production by Selected Lactic Acid Bacteria
Foods 2022, 11(13), 1914; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11131914 - 27 Jun 2022
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Abstract
In this study, eight lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains, previously isolated from traditional and gluten-free sourdoughs, and selected for their potential in improving the sensory and rheological quality of bakery products, were screened against some common spoilage agents. The anti-mould activity was tested [...] Read more.
In this study, eight lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains, previously isolated from traditional and gluten-free sourdoughs, and selected for their potential in improving the sensory and rheological quality of bakery products, were screened against some common spoilage agents. The anti-mould activity was tested using strains of the species Fusarium graminearum, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium paneum and Aspergillus niger. Regarding the antibacterial activity, it was assessed against four strains of the species Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella typhimurium and Listeria monocytogenes. Furthermore, LAB strains were evaluated for their ability to produce exopolysaccharides, which are gaining considerable attention for their functional properties and applicability in different food industrial applications. A strain-specific behaviour against the moulds was observed. In particular, F. graminearum ITEM 5356 was completely inhibited by all the LAB strains. Regarding the antibacterial activity, the strains Leuconostoc citreum UMCC 3011, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum UMCC 2996, and Pediococcus pentosaceus UMCC 3010 showed wide activity against the tested pathogens. Moreover, all the LAB strains were able to produce exopolysaccharides, which were preliminarily characterized. The assessed features of the LAB strains allow us to consider them as promising candidates for single or multiple starter cultures for food fermentation processes. Full article
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Article
Microbial Diversity and Contribution to the Formation of Volatile Compounds during Fine-Flavor Cacao Bean Fermentation
Foods 2022, 11(7), 915; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11070915 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1019
Abstract
Cacao demand is continuously increasing, and variations in cacao prices have been associated with the aroma of fermented cacao beans. However, the role of microorganisms in the formation of volatile-aroma compounds during fermentation remains unclear. Microbial diversity in Nacional × Trinitario cacao was [...] Read more.
Cacao demand is continuously increasing, and variations in cacao prices have been associated with the aroma of fermented cacao beans. However, the role of microorganisms in the formation of volatile-aroma compounds during fermentation remains unclear. Microbial diversity in Nacional × Trinitario cacao was characterized during spontaneous fermentation by using culture-based methods and next-generation sequencing (NGS) of DNA amplicons. Cacao beans that were spontaneously fermented for 0, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h were UV-sterilized prior to the inoculation of the microbial isolates obtained by the culture-based methods. The volatile formation in inoculated cacao beans was evaluated by GC-MS. The species isolated during fermentation included yeast, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida metapsilosis; lactic acid bacteria (LAB), such as Limosilactobacillus fermentum and Liquorilactobacillus nagelii; acetic acid bacteria (AAB), such as Acetobacter pasteurianus, Acetobacter ghanensis and Acetobacter syzygii, as well as other species, such as Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. Additionally, NGS revealed an abundance of environmental microorganisms, including Escherichia spp., Pantoea spp., Staphylococcus spp., Botrytis spp., Tetrapisispora spp. and Pichia spp., among others. During the lab-scale fermentation, the inoculation of S. cerevisiae mostly yielded alcohols, while LAB and AAB produced volatiles associated with floral, almond and fruity notes throughout the fermentation, but AAB also produced acetic acid with a sour aroma. Similarly, the inoculation of C. metapsilosis and Bacillus spp. in 96 h fermented cacao beans yielded esters with floral aromas. This is the first report describing the role of microorganisms in volatile formation during fine-flavor cacao fermentation. Full article
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Article
Inhibitory Effect of Lactiplantibacillusplantarum and Lactococcus lactis Autochtonous Strains against Listeria monocytogenes in a Laboratory Cheese Model
Foods 2022, 11(5), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11050715 - 28 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 834
Abstract
In the present study, six Lactococcus lactis and seven Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strains isolated from artisanal Sardinian dairy products were evaluated for their efficacy in controlling the growth of Listeria monocytogenes during the storage of miniature fresh cheese manufactured on a laboratory scale to [...] Read more.
In the present study, six Lactococcus lactis and seven Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strains isolated from artisanal Sardinian dairy products were evaluated for their efficacy in controlling the growth of Listeria monocytogenes during the storage of miniature fresh cheese manufactured on a laboratory scale to exploit their possible use as biopreservatives. The strains were tested for antimicrobial activity and some technological characteristics before using them in miniature fresh cheese to evaluate their in situ antilisterial effect. Our results showed that five strains (L. lactis 16FS16-9/20234-11FS16 and Lpb. plantarum 1/14537-4A/20045) could be considered suitable candidates for use as protective cultures in fresh cheese manufacture since they significantly lowered the pathogen counts by 3–4 log units compared to the control; however, all strains tested were capable of decreasing L. monocytogenes numbers. Our results suggest that the single and combined action of the acidifying power and the production of bacteriocin of these strains was capable of controlling and/or reducing the growth of L. monocytogenes. Considering their technological characteristics, they might be used as starter/adjunct cultures to increase the safety of the products, perhaps in association with other antimicrobial hurdles. Full article
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Article
Chufa Drink: Potential in Developing a New Plant-Based Fermented Dessert
Foods 2021, 10(12), 3010; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123010 - 05 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
Plant-based foods with desirable texture and nutritional value have attracted considerable interest from consumers. In order to meet the growing demand for more sustainable and health-focused products, new sources for plant-based products are needed. In this study, we aimed to develop an innovative [...] Read more.
Plant-based foods with desirable texture and nutritional value have attracted considerable interest from consumers. In order to meet the growing demand for more sustainable and health-focused products, new sources for plant-based products are needed. In this study, we aimed to develop an innovative plant-based dessert based on the underutilized crop chufa tubers (Cyperus esculentus). The chufa extract was fermented with plant-adapted lactic acid bacteria and formulated with the purpose of imitating the Danish summer dessert “cold butter-milk soup”. The effect of various bacterial fermentations and formulations on steady and oscillatory rheology, stability, dry matter, pH, and sugar profile of the product were studied and compared to a commercial cold buttermilk soup sample. A strain of Leuconostoc mesenteroides was found to create the most similar taste to a commercial sample. By adding lemon juice, sucrose, xanthan gum, and vanilla to the fermented chufa drink, the drink was found to mimic the pH, texture, acid profile, and stability of a commercial dairy-based sample, while containing a lower concentration of carbohydrates. Full article
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Review

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Review
Date Fruits as Raw Material for Vinegar and Non-Alcoholic Fermented Beverages
Foods 2022, 11(13), 1972; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11131972 - 02 Jul 2022
Viewed by 775
Abstract
Currently, foods and beverages with healthy and functional properties, especially those that claim to prevent chronic diseases, are receiving more and more interest. As a result, numerous foods and beverages have been launched onto the market. Among the products with enhanced properties, vinegar [...] Read more.
Currently, foods and beverages with healthy and functional properties, especially those that claim to prevent chronic diseases, are receiving more and more interest. As a result, numerous foods and beverages have been launched onto the market. Among the products with enhanced properties, vinegar and fermented beverages have a high potential for growth. Date palm fruits are a versatile raw material rich in sugars, dietary fibers, minerals, vitamins, and phenolic compounds; thus, they are widely used for food production, including date juice, jelly, butter, and fermented beverages, such as wine and vinegar. Furthermore, their composition makes them suitable for the formulation of functional foods and beverages. Microbial transformations of date juice include alcoholic fermentation for producing wine as an end-product, or as a substrate for acetic fermentation. Lactic fermentation is also documented for transforming date juice and syrup. However, in terms of acetic acid bacteria, little evidence is available on the exploitation of date juice by acetic and gluconic fermentation for producing beverages. This review provides an overview of date fruit’s composition, the related health benefits for human health, vinegar and date-based fermented non-alcoholic beverages obtained by acetic acid bacteria fermentation. Full article
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Review
Safety Assessment of Vitamin D and Its Photo-Isomers in UV-Irradiated Baker’s Yeast
Foods 2021, 10(12), 3142; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123142 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Vitamin D deficiency due to, e.g., nutritional and life style reasons is a health concern that is gaining increasing attention over the last two decades. Vitamin D3, the most common isoform of vitamin D, is only available in food derived from [...] Read more.
Vitamin D deficiency due to, e.g., nutritional and life style reasons is a health concern that is gaining increasing attention over the last two decades. Vitamin D3, the most common isoform of vitamin D, is only available in food derived from animal sources. However, mushrooms and yeast are rich in ergosterol. This compound can be converted into vitamin D2 by UV-light, and therefore act as a precursor for vitamin D. Vitamin D2 from UV-irradiated mushrooms has become an alternative source of vitamin D, especially for persons pursuing a vegan diet. UV-irradiated baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) for the production of fortified yeast-leavened bread and baked goods was approved as a Novel Food Ingredient in the European Union, according to Regulation (EC) No. 258/97. The Scientific Opinion provided by the European Food Safety Authority Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies has assessed this Novel Food Ingredient as safe under the intended nutritional use. However, recent findings on the formation of side products during UV-irradiation, e.g., the photoproducts tachysterol and lumisterol which are compounds with no adequate risk assessment performed, have only been marginally considered for this EFSA opinion. Furthermore, proceedings in analytics can provide additional insights, which might open up new perspectives, also regarding the bioavailability and potential health benefits of vitamin D-fortified mushrooms and yeast. Therefore, this review is intended to give an overview on the current status of UV irradiation in mushrooms and yeast in general and provide a detailed assessment on the potential health effects of UV-irradiated baker’s yeast. Full article
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