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BMB Rep. 2012 Jul;45(7):377-89.

Next-generation approaches to the microbial ecology of food fermentations.

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Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Food fermentations have enhanced human health since the dawn of time and remain a prevalent means of food processing and preservation. Due to their cultural and nutritional importance, many of these foods have been studied in detail using molecular tools, leading to enhancements in quality and safety. Furthermore, recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technology are revolutionizing the study of food microbial ecology, deepening insight into complex fermentation systems. This review provides insight into novel applications of select molecular techniques, particularly next-generation sequencing technology, for analysis of microbial communities in fermented foods. We present a guideline for integrated molecular analysis of food microbial ecology and a starting point for implementing next-generation analysis of food systems.

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