ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

Indigenous fermented foods form an intricate part of the diet throughout the world and have been produced for centuries as a method of food conservation. These foods, produced using locally grown raw materials and following traditional methods, are often associated to beneficial effects on their consumers. However, since indigenous fermented foods are often produced by individuals with little or no knowledge of the microbial processes involved, food safety and hygienic conditions are often overlooked. The aim of this review is to improve the knowledge base of the biotechnological processes involved in the production of indigenous fermented foods of Latin America. These include beverages prepared from the fermentation of maize (Chicha de jora and Pozol), cassava (Caixiri and Cauim), sugar cane (Cachaça), carob beans (Aloja) and agave (Pulque and Mezclal) and fermented foods such as the potato-based Tocosh. The diversity of the raw materials used as substrates and methodologies used will also be helpful in understanding the cultural habits of various and often geographically isolated cultures. Although mass-production of these indigenous fermented foods is limited by the availability of raw materials and their short shelf-life greatly limits their introduction into foreign markets, increased knowledge of the processes and microorganisms involved will be useful in improving and standardizing their production and increasing consumer acceptance and safety.
... Considering the great symbolic importance of this [2] it cannot be ruled out that the ceramic fragment presented in this paper would come from ceramics that were used for alcoholic drinking. [3] Through analysis of the fragments recovered on excavation, it was possible to observe that the majority have internal red painting, while the external part can be painted or not. The vessels with external white coatings generally have a red coating on the internal part. ...
... Considering the great symbolic importance of fermented beverages [2] it cannot be ruled out that the ceramic fragment was used for drinking alcoholic beverages. [3] In the TQ/II/00120.3 (TRS_3, 4, 5), red (internal) coating and white (external) coating, ceramic was made with the same clay (Montmorillonite-like). [29] In particular, the red and white coatings are very similar, having the same bands and differing only in the presence of carbonate (band 727) in the white pigment as confirmed by EDxrf results. ...
Article
Full-text available
The archeological site RS-TQ-141 is located in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) and belongs to the pre-colonial Guarani Tradition (between fifth and seventeenth century). The site extends to the bank of the Taquari River. About 200 small fragments of ceramic from the site present internal and/or external coating surfaces. Archaeometry analyses were applied in order to understand coating application mechanism. X-ray Fluorescence (XFR) analyses revealed that the main elements are iron, titanium, potassium, and calcium. Applying the micro Fourier Transform Interferometer (ATR-FTIR) method it was possible to differentiate white and red coatings produced with different types of (ocher) clays. ATR-FTIR was applied in order to try to distinguish the vessels use. The coatings were produced with the same groups of clays used for the manufacture of ceramics. The presence of at least two groups of clay is recorded: montmorillonite-like and kaolinite-like. The white coatings can be distinguished in the FTIR spectra by the presence of a carbonate peak. From this research, there does not seem to be any difference between internal and external coatings. Carbonyl materials were detected, both in the coating and in the production of the ceramics; the latter is probably related to pyrolysis.
... The collected tocosh was washed in order to remove foreign matter and dust, then allowed to Potato flour (PF) is characterized by its unpleasant smell, which is the first thing to be perceived, a peculiarity that does not limit its consumption or commercialization, affirming by empirical knowledge that it contains natural penicillin [4] and that among its innumerable benefits it is able to protect the gastric mucosa from damage or inflammation, according to popular customs, this product is used in postpartum, colds, pneumonia, in wound healing, as an antibacterial, healing of hemorrhoids and gastric ulcers, to avoid gastrointestinal infections and mountain sickness [5,6]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Potato tocosh is a naturally processed potato for nutritional and curative purposes from traditional Peruvian medicine. The aim of this study was to investigate the acute and sub-acute toxicity of tocosh flour (TF). For sub-acute toxicity, TF was administered orally to rats daily once a day for 28 days at doses of 1000 mg/kg body weight (BW). Animals were observed for general behaviors, mortality, body weight variations, and histological analysis. At the end of treatment, relative organ weights, histopathology, hematological and biochemical parameters were analyzed. For acute toxicity, TF was administered orally to mice at doses of 2000 and 5000 mg/kg BW at a single dose in both sexes. Body weight, mortality, and clinical signs were observed for 14 days after treatment. The results of acute toxicity showed that the median lethal dose (LD50) value of TF is higher than 2000 g/kg BW but less than 5000 mg/Kg BW in mice. Death and toxicological symptoms were not found during the treatment. For sub-acute toxicity, we found that no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAEL) of TF in rats up to 1000 g/kg BW. There were statistically significant differences in body weight, and relative organ weight in the stomach and brain. No differences in hematological and biochemical parameters were observed when compared with the control group. For sub-acute toxicity, histopathological studies revealed minor abnormalities in liver and kidney tissues at doses of 5000 mg/Kg. Based on these results, TF is a traditional Peruvian medicine with high safety at up to 1000 mg/kg BW for 28 days in rats.
... Production and consumption of traditional vegetable-based fermented pickles have a long worldwide history including populations from different cultures, i.e., Asians, Africans, Latin Americans, and recently North Americans and Europeans due to their desirable sensory attributes and high nutritional value, as well as extended shelf-life (El Sheikha, 2018a, 2018bEl Sheikha & Montet, 2014a, 2014bLeBlanc, Vignolo, Todorov, & de Giori, 2013b;Li et al., 2015;Ray, El Sheikha, & Kumar, 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Historically, pickling is one of the oldest preservation methods of several foodstuffs such as vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat. Pickling imparts unique and desirable changes in flavor, texture and color that take place over time in fermented pickles. Microorganisms (mainly lactic acid bacteria, Micrococcaceae, Bacilli, yeasts, and filamentous fungi) play a pivotal role in the pickling of foodstuffs while affecting the quality and safety of the final product. This review focuses on the common traditional fermented pickles and their nutritional, therapeutic, and economic potentials. Furthermore, the technological progress in screening microbial communities associated with the traditional pickles is summarized. Finally, this paper will tackle with the role of pickles in filing the gap in food security, the safety aspect of traditional pickles and biofortication as an interesting technique to improve the quality of traditional pickles.
... Interestingly, the methods used by traditional northern foragers to putrefy meat (s.l.) and fish, such as storage in pits, wooden boxes, bogs, ponds and rivers, rock cairns, and seal pokes, created an environment that was hostile to invading pathogens, keeping both meat (s.l.) and fish safe to eat for weeks, even months or longer, its foul smell and maggot infestations notwithstanding (Alakomi et al., 2000;Axelsson, 2004;Caplice and Fitzgerald, 1999;de Moreno de LeBlanc et al., 2015;Fadda et al., 2002;Farouk et al., 2014;Frink and Giordano, 2015;Holzapfel and Wood, 2014;Liu et al., 2014;Ray and Joshi, 2015;Riley and Chavan, 2007;Ross et al., 2002;Singh et al., 2012;Stadnik and Kęska, 2015). In fact, there is no evidence that Inuit or northern Athabaskan (Dené) peoples suffered from outbreaks of botulism-a debilitating and often deadly condition brought on by a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum-until the 1970's and 1980's, when well-intentioned Euroamericans introduced more "sanitary" methods such as sterilized plastic bags and bottles in which to putrefy their animal foods (Chiou et al., 2002;Fagan et al., 2011;Shaffer et al., 1990). ...
Article
This paper explores the role of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in the foodways of hunter-gatherers—both ethnohistoric and Paleolithic—whose diet seasonally or over much of the year, of necessity, was comprised largely of animal foods. In order to stave off scurvy, such foragers had to obtain a minimum of about 10 mg per day of vitamin C. However, there is little to no vitamin C in muscle meat, being concentrated instead in various internal organs and brain. Even ruminant stomach contents, despite the abundance of partially digested plants, contains almost none. Moreover, many of the “meatiest” anatomical units in a carcass, such as the thigh muscles or “hams” associated with the femur, are extremely lean in most wild ungulates, making them nutritionally much less valuable to northern foragers than archaeologists commonly assume (for example, Inuit and other indigenous peoples of the arctic and subarctic commonly use the thigh meat as dog food). Vitamin C is also the most unstable vitamin, rapidly degrading or disappearing when exposed to water, air, light, heat, and pH levels above about 4.0. As a consequence, common methods of preparing meat for storage and consumption (e.g., drying, roasting, boiling) may lead to significant loss of vitamin C. There are two effective methods of minimizing such loss: (1) eating meat raw (fresh or frozen); and (2) eating the meat after it has been putrefied. Putrefaction has distinct advantages that make it a common, if not essential, way of preparing and preserving meat among northern latitude foragers and, for the same reasons, very likely also among Paleolithic foragers in the colder climes of Pleistocene Eurasia. Putrefaction “pre-digests” the meat (including the organs), making it much less costly to ingest and metabolize than raw meat; and it lowers the pH, greatly increasing the stability of vitamin C. These observations offer insights into critical nutritional constraints that likely had to be addressed by Neanderthals and later hominins in any context where their diet was heavily meat-based for a substantial part of the year.
... Over the years, traditional fermentation became part of the cultural norm among the indigenous communities in most developing countries (Chelule et al. 2010;El Sheikha 2018b). All around the world, traditional fermented foods are a significant part of the human diet, particularly in Latin America, Asia and Africa (LeBlanc et al. 2013;Montet 2014a, 2014b;Ray, El Sheikha, and Kumar 2014;El Sheikha 2018a, 2018b. In some regions, fermented foods make up a minor 5% of daily intake, while in others their role can be as substantial as 40% (Tamang 2010d). ...
Article
Fermented foods were likely to have been the first among all types of processed foods consumed by human beings. The role that fermented food plays is not only related to the development of civilizations and cultural relationships between countries but also related to the nutritional importance of its population. Of course, the early manufacturers of fermented foods didn’t take into account the advantages of modern sciences, because enzymes and microorganisms were discovered just 150-200 years ago. For that reason, we can conclude why the ancient fermentation techniques were known to philosophers and alchemists, but not to biologists. It demonstrated that the fermentation mechanisms involved many secrets still undiscovered. Recently, applications of molecular techniques for analyzing and study the fermented foods have been explored. In this review, we provide answers with a critical vision to many questions for understanding the role of molecular techniques to discover the secrets of fermented foods such as how to evaluate the traditional fermented foods? Why using molecular techniques to study the fermented foods not else? Is the future will carry to us a boom in molecular technologies contribute to the detection of more secrets of the fermented food?
... While a number of research studies and reviews have focused on indigenous fermented food in continents other than Europe (see, for example, Agbobatinkpo et al., 2011;Beuchat, 1983;Das and Deka, 2012;Garabal, 2007;LeBlanc et al., 2013;Maroyi, 2013;Masarirambi et al., 2009;McGovern et al., 2004;Steinkraus, 1996;Tamang and Kailasapathy, 2010;Valadez-Blanco et al., 2012;Valdez, 2012), there is still a remarkable lack of scientific documentation concerning the plant-based fermentations that have played a fundamental role in traditional European folk cuisines. The last attempt at discussing this phenomenon in Europe was completed by Maurizio (1927), almost one century ago. ...
Chapter
“Aloja” is a fermented beverage typical of the region of northwestern Argentina made with whole pods of Prosopis alba (white algarrobo) not so studied at a scientific level, so it includes scientific information on the preparation and physicochemical and microbial characterization of this drink. The protocols for preparing “Aloja” have been transmitted orally from generation to generation, since it is a homemade craft practice, which depends on the producer and the region where it is made. Fermentation is possible because the pods have a variable epiphytic microbiota. Microbial growth and the consumption of fermentable sugars show that the fermentation process is relatively short, characterized by intense lactic acid fermentation that lowers the pH of the medium preventing the development of pathogenic microorganisms; keeping the drink a slight sweet taste. Then the alcoholic fermentation is intensified, associated with the growth of yeasts in which sugars are depleted and the level of alcohol increases to a value of almost 6%, resulting in a sour and alcoholic beverage. The isolation and evolution of the microbial population over time allow to know in a great manner, the fermentation process of the drink.
Article
Fermentation is seldom considered in paleodietary analyses of Arctic and Subarctic peoples despite its ubiquitous traditional use as a cooking technique in high latitudes. Further, chemists have yet to assess the potential isotopic effects of fermentation on animal tissues, though isotopic research has documented measurable isotopic effects associated with other cooking techniques such as stewing and boiling. To measure the effects of fermentation on stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, muscle tissues from 11 central Alaskan Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) were fermented following ethnographic methods. The results of this experiment demonstrate statistically significant isotopic differences in both carbon (−1.5‰) and nitrogen (+1.3‰) values taken from fermented muscle tissues compared to raw muscle tissues. Additionally, this study found a significant physiological fractionation effect between bone collagen and raw muscle (+3.3‰) consistent with previous research on Pacific salmon. In contrast to previous research, however, these tissues' nitrogen values show no significant fractionation. These findings have implications for central Alaskan dietary reconstructions, residue analyses, and our understanding of past subsistence practices in the Arctic and Subarctic.
Article
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) diversity associated with tocosh, Peruvian traditional fermented potatoes, was for the first time investigated by culturing and high throughput sequencing (HTS) approaches. They were applied on three samples i.e. freshly harvested potatoes, one-month and eight-months production. While by culture-dependent approach a few Lactobacillus (Lb) species (Lb. sakei, Lb. casei, Lb. farciminis, Lb. brevis, Lb. fermentum) and Leuconostoc (Ln) mesenteroides were identified, twenty-four OTUs belonging to six LAB genera were considered in tocosh samples by HTS, being Lactobacillus dominant in all three samples. LAB predominated on fresh potatoes, while Clostridium, Zymophilus and Prevotella were the most abundant genus in 1- and 8-months tocosh samples. When biotechnological features were investigated, amylase and phytate-degrading abilities as well as EPS and group B vitamin (riboflavin and folate) production were exhibited by several Lb. sakei and Ln. mesenteroides strains. Safety traits of major LAB species from tocosh showed antibacterial activities as well as biogenic amines production capacity. The molecular inventory achieved by HTS approach provided information on LAB population composition during fermentation of this ancestral potato fermented product while culturing allowed the selection of LAB strains suitable for novel functional cultures design for the production of fermented starchy products.
Article
Full-text available
Freshly prepared pozol, a traditional Mexican fermented maize dough, contained (c.f.u./g wet wt): lactic acid bacteria, 10(4) to 10(6); aerobic mesophiles, 10(4) to 10(5); Enterobacteriaceae, 10(2) to 10(3); yeasts, 10(2) to 10(4); and mould propagules, <10(3). After 30 h at 28°C the numbers were, respectively: 10(9), 7×10(6), 5×10(5), 10(6) and 10(4). Soaking alkali-treated grains overnight allowed lactic acid bacteria, aerobic mesophiles and Enterobacteriaceae to grow and these then constituted the primary microbial flora of the pozol dough. Grinding in a commercial mill inoculated the dough with lactic acid bacteria, aerobic mesophiles, Enterobacteriaceae and yeasts. Other processing stages, including the nature of the surface upon which the balls were made, handling of the dough, and air, contributed only minor numbers of microbes compared with the two major sources, soaking and grinding. The pH of pozol fell from an initial value of 7.3 to 4.6 after 30 h incubation at 28°C. The numbers of Enterobacteriaceae and other aerobic mesophilic bacteria remained constant between 11 and 30 h incubation and there was no evidence of the acidic conditions having any lethal effects on these organisms.
Article
Full-text available
Mexican fermented maize dough, pozol, including traditional banana leaf-wrapped samples and material in plastic bags, was purchased. All samples were pH 4.7 to 5.7 approx. 12 h after preparation, pH declining to 3.6 to 3.9 after 6 to 9 days storage at ambient temperature. These latter samples had dry matter contents of 31% to 48% (w/w), 0.35% to 0.75% titratable acidity as lactic acid and lactic acid bacteria as predominant microbial flora at about 10(8) c.f.u./ml. The lactic acid bacteria included strains of Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus confusus, Lactococcus lactis and Lactococcus raffinolactis. Fungi were not found in the samples stored in plastic bags. The samples wrapped in banana leaf, however, developed a large surface mycoflora within 2 days. This included Geotrichum candidum, yeasts and moulds. The majority of the lactic acid bacteria and approx. 50% of yeasts hydrolysed starch to some extent. No Geotrichum isolate hydrolysed starch. Lactate was assimilated by all the Geotrichum isolates and by 17 of 39 yeast strains.
Article
Full-text available
Boza is a low-alcohol beverage produced from the fermentation of barley, oats, millet, maize, wheat or rice. The number of lactic acid bacteria isolated from three boza samples ranged from 9 Â 10 6 to 5 Â 10 7 CFU/mL. Carbohydrate fermentation reactions and PCR with species-specific primers classified the isolates as Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei, Lactobacillus pentosus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus fermentum. No filamentous fungi were isolated. Yeasts were isolated from two of the three boza samples, with cell numbers ranging from 1.3 Â 10 2 to 1.8 Â 10 3 CFU/mL. Results obtained from sequencing of the D1/D2 rDNA region identified the yeasts as Candida diversa, Candida inconspicua, Candida pararugosa, Issatchenkia orientalis, Pichia fermentans, Pichia guillliermondii, Pichia norvegensis, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa and Torulaspora delbrueckii. C. inconspicua has been isolated from human sputum and tongue and is an opportunistic pathogen. R. mucilaginosa is also an opportunistic pathogen implicated in fungaemia, endocarditis and meningitis. P. norvegensis has been associated with septicaemia in humans. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, commonly associated with fermented beverages, has not been detected in any of the boza samples, despite enrichment.
Article
Full-text available
Pozol is a beverage prepared from fermented nixtamal consumed in Southeastern Mexico. The Mestizos have modified the traditional Indian procedure by adding an extra cooking step to reduce the amount of solid sediment present in the beverage when the dough is suspended in water. To elucidate whether this additional step influences the microbiology of the fermentation, the microbiota before fermentation of Indian and Mestizo nixtamal doughs, and the microbial growth during both processes were assessed. The initial microbiotas of freshly made nixtamal doughs purchased on nine successive days from one Indian producer and one Mestizo producer were examined. The numbers of micro-organisms in the initial doughs were quite constant day by day and were similar in the Indian and Mestizo products. Initial microbial concentrations (cfu g−1) were: lactic acid bacteria, 105–106; non-lactic aerobic mesophilic bacteria, 104–106, enterobacteria, 103–104; mould propagules, 102–103and yeasts, 104. In the products fermented at 28°C for 48 h the concentrations of lactic acid bacteria and non-lactic aerobic mesophilic bacteria were 109and 105cfu g−1respectively. No differences were found in the initial microbiotas nor in the fermentation patterns of both kinds of doughs. The concentrations of bacteria were similar on the surface and in the interior of the balls, but those of moulds and yeasts were higher on the surface than in the interior. In spite of the low pH values attained (4·5 or below), viable enterobacteria were still present at the end of the fermentation.
Article
Full-text available
The possibility of utilising chopped and deseeded carob pods (kibbles) as a source of polyphenolic antioxidants was examined by performing extractions with various solvent systems, in order to evaluate and optimize the conditions for the recovery of polyphenols. Maximum quantities of polyphenolic components were found in 80 % acetone extracts, as evaluated by measuring total polyphenol and total flavanol content. By contrast, ethyl ace-tate was inefficient in extracting polyphenols. The assessment of the antioxidant potency of carob pod extracts employing two characteristic in vitro models showed that carobs con-tain polyphenols with appreciable antiradical and reducing properties. The values obtained were compared to the data on red wines and pure polyphenolic antioxidants.
Article
Full-text available
The use of food-grade microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) is one of the most promising methods for delivering health promoting compounds. Since it is not always possible to obtain strains that have the ability to produce specific compounds naturally or that produce them in sufficient quantities to obtain physiological responses, genetic modifications can be performed to improve their output. The objective of this study was to evaluate if previously studied genetically modified LAB (GM-LAB), with proven in vivo beneficial effects, are just as safe as the progenitor strain from which they were derived. Mice received an elevated concentration of different GM-LAB or the native parental strain from which they were derived during a prolonged period of time, and different health parameters were evaluated. Similar growth rates, hematological values, and other physiological parameters were obtained in the animals that received the GM-LAB compared to those that were fed with the native strain. These results demonstrate that the GM-LAB used in this study are just as safe as the native strains from which they were derived and thus merit further studies to include them into the food chain.
Article
Cachaa (aguardente) is a rum-style spirit made from sugar cane juice by artisanal methods in Brazil. A study was made of the production, biochemistry and microbiology of the process in fifteen distilleries in Sul de Minas. Identification of 443 yeasts showed Saccharomyces cerevisiae to be the predominant yeast but Rhodotorula glutinis and Candida maltosa were predominant in three cases. Bacterial infection is a potential problem, particularly in older wooden vats, when the ratio of yeasts:bacteria can be 10:1 or less. A study of daily batch fermentations in one distillery over one season in which 739 yeasts were identified revealed that S. cerevisiae was the predominant yeast. Six other yeast species showed a daily succession: Kluyveromyces marxianus, Pichia heimii and Hanseniaspora uvarum were present only at the beginning, Pichia subpelliculosa and Debaryomyces hansenii were detected from mid to the end of fermentation, and Pichia methanolica appeared briefly after the cessation of fermentation. Despite a steady influx of yeasts from nature, the species population in the fermenter was stable for at least four months suggesting strong physiological and ecological pressure for its maintenance. Cell densities during the fermentation were: yeasts – 4 108/ml; lactic acid bacteria – 4 105/ml; and bacilli – 5 104/ml. Some acetic acid bacteria and enterobacteriaceae appeared at the end. Sucrose was immediately hydrolysed to fructose and glucose. The main fermentation was complete after 12 hours but not all fructose was utilised when harvesting after 24 hours.
Article
Yeasts were isolated from exudates of algarrobo trees from nine sites in northwest Argentina, three in the Chaco region, from pods of algarrobo and acacia, collected in the Quebrada de Cafayate, and from rot pockets in decaying columnar cacti at Cachi (Parc Nacional des Cardons), and at Las Ruinas de Quilmes. Most of the yeasts isolated from exudates of algarrobo were identified asBullera variabilis, Candida famata, Cryptococcus albidus and otherCryptococcus species,Debaryomyces hansenii, Pichia angusta (Hansenula polymorpha),Pichia ciferrii, Pichia farinosa andTorulaspora delbrueckii. OtherCandida, Kluyveromyces andPichia species were found. Most species were osmotolerant. The high sugar content of the exudates influenced the nature of the yeast species present. The pods containedCryptococcus spp.,Candida famata andCandida ciferrii spp. Half the species isolated from rotting cactus wereCryptococcus species.Pichia membranaefaciens andTorulaspora delbrueckii were also isolated. Of 553 cultures investigated, 49 utilized methanol.
Article
Roasted carob powder was obtained using different time–temperature combinations and some quality characteristics such as total phenolic content (TPC), total antioxidant activity (TAA), browning index (BI) at 420nm, UV absorbance (UV-A) at 294nm, and pH has been investigated. Both the roasting temperature and time significantly (P<0.01) affected the quality characteristics of the product. However, the roasting time was found to be a critical factor in determining the overall quality of the product. While the TPC, TAA, BI and UV-A values of the samples increased with the increasing roasting temperature and time, the pH of the samples decreased gradually. The quality characteristics of the carob powders changed markedly in between 20 and 60min of roasting which indicates that the heat-induced reactions accelerate particularly in that period of roasting. The correlations between all these chemical properties of carob powder were found to be significant (P<0.0001) during roasting.