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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Mar;98(6):2385-93. doi: 10.1007/s00253-014-5513-1. Epub 2014 Jan 14.

Kimchi microflora: history, current status, and perspectives for industrial kimchi production.

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Department of Life Science, Chung-Ang University, 84, HeukSeok-Ro, Dongjak-Gu, Seoul, 156-756, Republic of Korea.


Kimchi, a traditional Korean food made by the fermentation of vegetables, has become popular globally because of its organoleptic, beneficial, and nutritional properties. Spontaneous kimchi fermentation in unsterilized raw materials leads to the growth of various lactic acid bacteria (LAB), which results in variations in the taste and sensory qualities of kimchi products and difficulties in the standardized industrial production of kimchi. Raw materials, kimchi varieties, ingredients, and fermentation conditions have significant effects on the microbial communities and fermentative characteristics of kimchi during fermentation. Heterofermentative LAB belonging to the genera Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Weissella are likely to be key players in kimchi fermentation and have been subjected to genomic and functional studies to gain a better understanding of the fermentation process and beneficial effects of kimchi. The use of starter cultures has been considered for the industrial production of high quality, standardized kimchi. Here, we review the composition and biochemistry of kimchi microflora communities, functional and genomic studies of kimchi LAB, and perspectives for industrial kimchi production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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