Leuconostoc population coincides with the succession of several other lactic acid bacteria, most notably Lactobacillus plantarum and, to a lesser extent, Lactobacillus brevis. Although L.plantarum is a facultative hetero-fermentor (meaning it has the metabolic capacity to ferment different sugars via homo-or heterofermentative pathways) and L. brevis is an obligate heterofermentor, both organisms are strong acid producers, nearly doubling the acid content to about 1.4% to 1.6%. They are also quite stable in this acidic environment and dominate the fermentation during this period (especially L.plantarum). It is not unusual, however, for other lactic acid bacteria, including Pediococcus pentosaceus, Pediococcus acidilactici, Lactobacillus cuva-tus, and Enterococcus sp., to be present during the primary fermentation. Finally, as the acidity approaches 1.6% and the pH de creases below 4.0, only the acid-tolerant L. plantarum is able to grow.The entire process can take up to one to two months, and the fermentation is generally considered complete when the acidity is at about 1.7%, with a pH of 3.4 to 3.6.
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