New discovery could lead to healthier fermented foods

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Researchers find hybrid metabolism in fermented food microbe

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Rice University have discovered that lactic acid bacteria use a previously unknown energy metabolism, which radically changes the scientific understanding of how these bacteria may thrive in their natural environments.

Researchers found the species Lactiplantibacillus plantarum uses a hybrid metabolism, which combines features of respiration with fermentation.

The findings could lead to new technologies that use lactic acid bacteria to produce healthier and tastier fermented foods and beverages in ways which also minimize food waste. Manipulating this metabolism could change the flavor and texture of fermented foods.

“We may also find that this blended metabolism has benefits in other habitats, such as the digestive tract. The ability to manipulate it could improve gut health”, said the researchers.



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