1887

Kimchi: Spicy Science for the Undergraduate Microbiology Laboratory

    Authors: Virginia A. Young1,*, Adam M. Kiefer2
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Mercer University, Macon, GA 31207; 2: Department of Chemistry, Mercer University, Macon, GA 31207
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 15 December 2014
    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology, 1400 Coleman Avenue, Macon, GA 31207. Phone: 478-301-2577. Fax: 478-301-2067. E-mail: Young_VA@mercer.edu.
    • ©2014 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2014 vol. 15 no. 2 297-298. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.695
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    Abstract:

    Undergraduate microbiology courses offer a perfect opportunity to introduce students to historical food preservation processes that are still in use today. The fermentation of vegetables, as occurs in the preparation of sauerkraut and kimchi, uses an enrichment step to select for the growth of naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria (LAB). This is an active learning exercise in which students learn a food preparation skill and basic microbiological terms such as selection and enrichment. When performed in conjunction with cultured fermentations, such as yogurt making, students can see the difference between fermentations by naturally occurring microorganisms versus inoculated microorganisms. Additionally, this exercise introduces students to concepts of food safety, intrinsic factors influencing microbial growth such as pH, and cultural uses of fermentation to preserve locally available foods.

Key Concept Ranking

Food Processing and Preservation
0.59305996
Lactic Acid Bacteria
0.5124537
Food Safety
0.46560854
Differential Media
0.35714287
Fermentation
0.34144434
0.59305996

References & Citations

1. Di Cagno R, Coda R, De Angelis M, Gobbetti M 2013 Exploitation of vegetables and fruits through lactic acid fermentation Food Microbiol. 33 1 1 10 10.1016/j.fm.2012.09.003 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2012.09.003
2. Drake MA, McKillip J 2000 Fermentation microbiology: making cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk as a lab exercise Am Biol Teach 62 65 67 10.1662/0002-7685(2000)062[0065:FM]2.0.CO;2 http://dx.doi.org/10.1662/0002-7685(2000)062[0065:FM]2.0.CO;2
3. Jung JY, Lee SH, Lee HJ, Seo H, Park W, Jeon CO 2012 Effects of Leuconostoc mesenteroides starter cultures on microbial communities and metabolites during kimchi fermentation Int. J. Food Microbiol. 153 378 387 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.11.030 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.11.030
4. Katz SE 2012 The art of fermentation: an in-depth exploration of essential concepts and processes from around the world Chelsea Green Publishing White River Junction, VT
5. Merkel S 2012 The development of curricular guidelines for introductory microbiology that focus on understanding J Microbiol Biol Educ 13 32 38 10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.363 23653779 3577306 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.363
6. Scott R, Sullivan WC 2008 Ecology of fermented foods Human Ecol Rev 15 25 31
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.695
2014-12-15
2017-11-21

Abstract:

Undergraduate microbiology courses offer a perfect opportunity to introduce students to historical food preservation processes that are still in use today. The fermentation of vegetables, as occurs in the preparation of sauerkraut and kimchi, uses an enrichment step to select for the growth of naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria (LAB). This is an active learning exercise in which students learn a food preparation skill and basic microbiological terms such as selection and enrichment. When performed in conjunction with cultured fermentations, such as yogurt making, students can see the difference between fermentations by naturally occurring microorganisms versus inoculated microorganisms. Additionally, this exercise introduces students to concepts of food safety, intrinsic factors influencing microbial growth such as pH, and cultural uses of fermentation to preserve locally available foods.

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