This preservation method is based on acid production by fermenting sugars in the plant material through the action of lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillum plantarum, although the presence of Leuconostoc mesenteroides also has a marked effect upon the fermentation and product quality (5,6). In addition of lactic acid bacteria activity, other fermentative bacteria, such as acetic acid-producing microorganisms, also carry out vegetable fermentation, which enhances shelf life and sensory characteristics (6). Undesirable microorganisms are inhibited by various mechanisms. Salt addition allows the growth of naturally present lactic acid bacteria, but the combined salt and acid action allows the
selection of microflora associated with vegetable preservation. At the same time, fermentation reduced carbohydrate concentration, increasing acid production (7). In some cases, sugars are added to enhance the fermentation process (4). The most important conditions for an adequate vegetable fermentation are: anaerobiosis, salt concentration, temperature, and the used of suitable starters. Lactic acid bacteria can be present as native microflora in the pepper, but to assure a uniform fermentation, selected starters are usually added.
To obtain the best fermented jalapeio pepper quality, the raw material (Capsicum annuum) cv. Jalapeiio must be recently harvested, still green, and without wounds or peduncle. Figure 1 shows the general flow diagram of fermented jalapeiio pepper processing (8).
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