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Lactic Acid Bacteria and Fermented Cereals

  • Bowen Yan
  • Hao ZhangEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

It is well-known that cereals are one of the traditional staple foods in many Asian countries. In China, the records of five cereals are reported as early as the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Period in the “Analects of Confucius,” including rice, wheat, soybeans, corn, and potatoes. Starch is one of the most important components in cereal; the content accounts for 60% of the total cereals weight and 90% of the total carbohydrate content. In addition, cereals also contain a variety of proteins, lipids, cellulose, minerals, and enzymes, which not only meet the nutritional and metabolic needs of microorganisms but also provide a good substrate for microbial growth (Cho et al. 2013; Waters et al. 2015). Fermentation technology has been known and mastered for thousands of years. As one of the traditional staple foods in northern China (Zhu 2014), steamed bun originated in the Three Kingdoms Period; soy sauce, as an ancient condiment, has a long history of more than 1800 years; fermented bean curd also had historical records in the ancient books of the Wei Dynasty as early as the fifth century AD. However, due to the lack of understanding in fermentation and microorganism at that time, the development of fermented food was limited. With the development of science and technology, we have come to realize that cereal is the natural medium for microbial growth and reproduction. Microorganisms utilize the carbohydrates and amino acids of cereal for fermentation (Oguntoyinbo and Narbad 2015), under a series of physiological and biochemical reactions, which improves the quality, flavor, and nutrition of products. Furthermore, the fermented cereal food also has the effects of regulating human intestinal health, alleviating constipation, and absorbing heavy metals in the body (Akanbi and Agarry 2014; Brandt 2014; Zhao et al. 2015).

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangnan UniversityWuxiChina

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