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fermented vegetables

lactic starter culture may serve a purpose quite removed from those described above. The function of Oenococcus oeni, an organism used during the wine fermentation, is to convert malic acid to lactic acid. This reaction results in a slight but critical increase in pH, and is necessary to soften or de-acidify overly acidic wines (Chapter 10).

Although LAB are the most important and most widely-used group of starter culture bacteria, other non-lactic bacteria also are included in various starter cultures (Table 3-3). In the cheese industry, Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii is used to manufacture Emmenthaler and other Swiss-type cheeses and Brevibacterium linens is used in the manufacture of so-called surface-ripened cheeses, such as Limburger, Muenster, and brick cheeses (Chapter 5). In Europe (and occasionally in the United States), manufacturers of dry fermented sausages add Micrococcus spp. to the meat mixtures.This organism produces the enzyme nitrate reductase which reduces the curing salt, sodium (or potassium) nitrate, to the nitrite form, and in so doing, enhances development of flavor and color attributes (Chapter 6). Finally, the manufacture of vinegar involves oxidation of ethanol by Aceto-bacter aceti and related species (Chapter 11).

Yeast starter cultures

Bread manufacturers are by far the largest users of yeast starter cultures. Several different forms of yeast starter cultures are available, ranging from the moist yeast cakes, used exclusively by the baking industry, to the active dry yeast packages sold at retail to consumers. Yeasts used for the bread fermentation (i.e., bakers' yeast) are classified as Saccharomyces cere-visae, and are selected, in large part, on their ability to produce large amounts of carbon dioxide in rapid fashion. Wine, beer, distilled spirits, and nearly all other alcoholic beverages are also made using yeast cultures (Table 3-3).

Many of these ethanol-producing yeasts are also classified as S. cerevisae, although they differ markedly from those strains used for bread manufacture. As noted above, many of the wines produced in Europe are made via natural fermentations, relying on the naturally-occurring yeasts present on the grape surface and winery equipment. The trend for most wine manufacturers, however, has been to use

Table B.B. Other organisms used as starter cultures.

Organism

Application

Bacteria

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