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Microorganisms as food additives
- Smith, James L., Palumbo, Samuel A.
- Journal of food protection 1981 v.44 no.12 pp. 936-955
- fermented foods, food additives, foods, microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, fermentation
- Extract: Bacteria and fungi are used as additives in meats, milk, cereals, vegetables, and fruits to produce desirable fermented products. Fermentation causes changes in the nutritional content of foods; vitamin and amino acid levels may increase, decrease or remain static depending on the type of microorganism used and the product fermented. Microorganisms also impart desirable flavors, improve texture and enhance digestibility of foods. Fermentation also destroys food spoilage organisms, thereby enhancing food preservation. Lactobacilli in cultured milks supplement the normal intestinal flora in individuals suffering from digestive ailments or enteric diseases. Cultured milks are tolerated by lactose-intolerant individuals since lactose is utilized in the gastrointestinal tract by ingested lactobacilli. If sufficient acid is formed, foods which have undergone a lactic acid fermentation (e.g., fermented sausages or cheese) do not support growth of food poisoning microorganisms. Furthermore, products which undergo controlled commercial fungal fermentations have been shown not to contain mycotoxins; cheese and other fermented products contain histamines and other biogenic amines. Fermentation offers a means of producing safe, nutritious foods with desirable organoleptic qualtites and extended storage stability. (author/wz)