Fermented vegetables were produced in different cultures in the old days to preserve the harvested vegetables for them when they were not available or limited due to climatic condition. Some of these products grew from traditional cultural foods to foods widely accepted in other cultures. It is interesting that most of these processes are similar. Salt is used in the production of the product or the salt stock. Natural lactic acid fermentation is the major microbial activity in these processes, producing enough lactic acid to lower the pH. With the amount of salt added, these two ingredients create an environment that can inhibit the growth of other spoilage microorganisms. Available leafy vegetables, fruits (commonly used as vegetables), and roots are used as the raw materials. Starter cultures are used occasionally. Vinegar is used in some products. Chili pepper and other spices are used in many products. Preservatives may also be used to extend the shelf life after the package is opened. Table 50 compares the ingredients used in different fermented vegetable products (43,52).
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