Kimchi is one of the most popular Korean traditional foods as evidenced by its long history and by the increasing demand for it in other foreign countries. Nutritionally, kimchi is a probiotic food with a distinct taste, and it has a promising future as an excellent functional food. The kimchi recipe calls for high-quality raw materials for better quality kimchi. Elaborated fermentative processes also are needed. For example, a brining process that reduces unnecessary aerobic and pathogenic bacteria, yeasts and molds is needed, but also one that stimulates the growth of LAB. Although starter cultures can be induced for kimchi fermentation, the proper technique for the removal of endogeneous microorganisms, without damaging the texture of the fermented cabbages, has yet to be established. Further research on various fermentation techniques is needed for the optimization of an extended preservation period that increases both functionality and taste. Additional research is needed on modern and appropriate kimchi containers that mimic the old-fashioned earthenware crocks that provided the best kimchi fermentation conditions over a long storage period. The development of new packaging materials and packing techniques that will ensure stable shelf-life are key to the successful internationalization of kimchi. To make kimchi more appealing to foreigners' taste, a variety of kimchis must be developed.
The potential efficacy of kimchi for its anticancer, antiatherosclerotic, weight control, and antiaging properties is interesting and needs more systematic and careful research to establish its potential. The Codex standardization of kimchi that is required for trading allows kimchi to be distributed worldwide, so more intensified research on kimchi processing, fermentation, taste improvement, and nutritional functionality is needed for further development in the quality of kimchi.
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