Quality and safety aspects in fermentation of winged kelp (Alaria esculenta) and sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) by the natural microbiota with or without addition of a Lactiplantibacillus plantarum starter culture

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Abstract

Nourishment of the growing human population requires new and alternative food sources, preferable produced without occupying new land areas. Cultivation of seaweed presents an opportunity, however, a major obstacle is sustainable preservation. Fermentation has been used for centuries to preserve vegetables, e.g., to produce kimchi based on cabbage. This study investigated changes in the microbiota, characteristics (pH, organic acids and water soluble carbohydrates) and food safety of raw shredded Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima during fermentation by the natural microbiota with or without addition of a Lactiplantibacillus plantarum starter culture. The Lb. plantarum fermented products retained a high Shannon diversity index, indicating a partially unsuccessful fermentation. Lb. plantarum performed better in A. esculenta causing pH to drop to below 4.6, a critical limit for control of growth of Clostridium botulinum, within 2 days compared to 7 days for S. latissima. Natural fermentation by the endogenous microbiota resulted in unsafe products with high final pH values (4.8–5.2), presence of unwanted organic acids, such as butyric acid, and in the case of A. esculenta sustenance of inoculated Listeria monocytogenes. Fermentation of A. esculenta and S. latissima by Lb. plantarum is a promising preservation method. However, future work is needed to optimise the process, by investigation of the use of different starter cultures, seaweed pre-treatments (blanching, freezing, etc.) and adjuvants (i.e., addition of sugars, minerals and similar) to promote growth of the starter culture and ensure the fermented products are safe to eat.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110800
JournalFood Research International
Volume150
Number of pages41
ISSN0963-9969
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Amplicon sequencing
  • Water-soluble carbohydrates
  • Seaweed
  • Food safety
  • Listeria monocytogenes

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