Full text loading...
Chapter 10 : Microbiology for Gastronomes
This chapter on microbiology for gastronomes talks about problem of antibiotic resistance. The preparation of cecina was originally an entirely natural process, starter cultures are now used. The twin aims are to introduce organisms that contribute to flavor and taste and at the same time inhibit the proliferation of mycotoxin producers. A potential drawback has come to light, however, as medical microbiologists have grown increasingly concerned about the problem of antibiotic resistance. Most widely used starter cultures contain Penicillium nalgiovense. Unfortunately, many strains generate penicillin, as well, prompting anxieties that this could contribute to the development of beta-lactam resistance in the gut flora. Starter cultures containing newly developed P. nalgiovense strains do not generate the antibiotic, but do retain the desirable qualities of the wild types. For gastronomes everywhere, bitterness is an ambiguous quality, sometimes enhancing and sometimes impoverishing the quality offoods and drinks. An extensive screening program based on the natural flora of orange peel, citrus compost, and soil, has yielded several organisms that are likely to be harnessed to remove limonin from citrus juices. The strains of Microbacterium flavescens and Enterobacter cloacae, have been identified as very efficient biocatalysts for debittering juices. The alga Haematococcus pluvialis has long been recognized as a rich source of ketocarotenoid, which is used as a food additive for the pigmentation of farmed fish and shellfish. However, the development of an efficient industrial process based on the organism has proved extremely difficult.