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Biotechnology Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 250424, 19 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/250424
Review Article

Fermented Fruits and Vegetables of Asia: A Potential Source of Probiotics

1Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600036, India
2Centre for Tuber Research Institute, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa 751019, India
3Gandhigram Rural Institute-Deemed University, Gandhigram, Tamil Nadu 624302, India

Received 17 February 2014; Accepted 30 April 2014; Published 28 May 2014

Academic Editor: Triantafyllos Roukas

Copyright © 2014 Manas Ranjan Swain et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

As world population increases, lactic acid fermentation is expected to become an important role in preserving fresh vegetables, fruits, and other food items for feeding humanity in developing countries. However, several fermented fruits and vegetables products (Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Gundruk, Khalpi, Sinki, etc.) have a long history in human nutrition from ancient ages and are associated with the several social aspects of different communities. Among the food items, fruits and vegetables are easily perishable commodities due to their high water activity and nutritive values. These conditions are more critical in tropical and subtropical countries which favour the growth of spoilage causing microorganisms. Lactic acid fermentation increases shelf life of fruits and vegetables and also enhances several beneficial properties, including nutritive value and flavours, and reduces toxicity. Fermented fruits and vegetables can be used as a potential source of probiotics as they harbour several lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus plantarum, L. pentosus, L. brevis, L. acidophilus, L. fermentum, Leuconostoc fallax, and L. mesenteroides. As a whole, the traditionally fermented fruits and vegetables not only serve as food supplements but also attribute towards health benefits. This review aims to describe some important Asian fermented fruits and vegetables and their significance as a potential source of probiotics.