Enlivening Kimchi

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Enlivening Kimchi

In the last few weeks we’ve really been enjoying the online offerings of the good people at MicrobialFoods.Org. To say the very least we share their endless fascination with the world of fermentation and microbes. They delve into the subject with an intoxicating dose of youthful enthusiasm, and scientific rigour.

This morning we stumbled upon their post - What brings Kimchi to life? and thoroughly enjoyed it. It discusses the findings of an article published in the August 2015 Journal of Food Science

It touches on some great subjects relating to lacto-fermentation. here are a few excerpts from their post.

On microorganism variability:

…the team found enormous variability in the bacterial (and lactic acid bacterial) loads of their raw materials. In general, the garlic samples had the highest total bacterial counts, while the cabbage had the lowest. Interestingly, despite being the most plentiful ingredient in kimchi — and even when the volume was corrected for — the cabbage was not the predominant source of lactic acid bacteria (LAB).

And how Kimchi is highly selective of Lactic Acid Bacteria, over other microorganisms:

Once again, the results of this paper demonstrate the power of natural fermentation to select for beneficial and useful microbes from amongst the motley crew of bacterial species present in variable raw materials. The low final pH of kimchi is very strongly selective for LAB, which probably accounts for the fact that no commercial starter cultures have been required or developed for this extremely popular food, even up to now.

Happy Holidays - and see you in 2016!