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Problem-Solving Exercise for Undergraduate Students Involving the Japanese Fermented Food Natto

    Authors: Yoko Yoshiyama1, Jun Shima1,*, Toru Fushiki1
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    Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Agriculture, Ryukoku University, Shiga 520-2194, Japan
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 06 April 2018 Accepted 11 September 2018 Published 26 April 2019
    • ©2019 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Faculty of Agriculture, Ryukoku University, 1–5 Yokotani, Seta Oe-cho, Otsu, Shiga 520-2194, Japan. Phone: 81-77-599-5718. Fax: 81-77-599-5608. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2019 vol. 20 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i1.1614
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    Abstract:

    Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented by . Because natto is high in protein and contains healthful bacteria, dieticians and producers have campaigned for higher consumption of natto in areas such as Kansai, where our university is located. One of the reasons for the low consumption of natto is its distinctive flavor. As a problem-solving exercise, undergraduate students attempted to make natto more marketable. Students set a goal of modifying natto flavor by adding spices to achieve flavors deemed palatable by organoleptic tests. During the exercise, they noticed that lemongrass, , had a flavor-masking ability that reduced the intensity of natto flavor, and they finally determined that it was a useful food additive to make natto marketable. The exercise was an active learning process that effectively induced voluntary student effort of to solve problems originating from microorganisms.

References & Citations

1. Murooka Y, Yamshita M 2008 Traditional healthful fermented products of Japan J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 35 791 798 10.1007/s10295-008-0362-5 18461373 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10295-008-0362-5
2. Tanaka T, Muramatsu K, Kim H, Watanabe T, Takeyasu M, Kanai Y, Kiuchi K 1998 Comparison of volatile compounds from chungkuk-jang and itohiki-natto Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 62 7 1440 1444 10.1271/bbb.62.1440 27397006 http://dx.doi.org/10.1271/bbb.62.1440
3. Takemura H, Ando N, Tsukamoto Y 2000 Breeding of branched short-chain fatty acids non-producing natto bacteria and its application to production of natto with light smells J Food Sci Technol 47 10 773 779
4. Ohta T 1986 Natto 85 93 Reddy NR, Pierson MD, Merle D, Salunkhe DK Legume-based fermented foods CRC Press Boca Raton, FL
5. Kaneki M, Hedges SJ, Hosoi T, Fujiwara S, Lyons A, Crean J, Ishida N, Nakagawa M, Takechi M, Sano Y, Mizuno Y, Hoshino S, Miyao M, Inoue S, Horiki K, Shiraki M, Ouchi Y, Orimo H 2001 Japanese fermented soybean food as the major determinant of the large geographic difference in circulating levels of vitamin K2: possible implications for hip-fracture risk Nutrition 17 3 15 21 10.1016/S0899-9007(00)00554-2 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0899-9007(00)00554-2
6. Iwai K, Nakaya N, Kawasaki Y, Matsue H 2002 Antioxidative functions of natto, a kind of fermented soybeans: effect on LDL oxidation and lipid metabolism in cholesterol-fed rats J Agric Food Chem 50 12 3597 3601 10.1021/jf0117199 12033835 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf0117199
7. Yamaguchi M, Taguchi H, Gao YH, Igarashi A, Tsukamoto Y 1999 Effect of vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) in fermented soybean (natto) on bone loss in ovariectomized rats J Bone Miner Metab 17 1 23 29 10.1007/s007740050059 10084398 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s007740050059
8. Tsumura Y, Ohyane A, Yamashita K, Sone Y 2012 Which characteristic of natto: appearance, odor, or taste most affects preference for natto J Physiol Anthropol 31 13 10.1186/1880-6805-31-13 22738664 3521169 http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1880-6805-31-13
9. Sumi H, Ohsugi T, Naito S, Yatagai C 2011 Natto kinase from Bacillus subtilis natto: amidolysis and some properties. In Japanese J Bre Soc Japan 106 1 28 32 10.6013/jbrewsocjapan.106.28 http://dx.doi.org/10.6013/jbrewsocjapan.106.28
10. Romero-Garcia S, Hernández-Bustos C, Merino E, Gosset G, Martinez A 2009 Homolactic fermentation from glucose and cellobiose using Bacillus subtilis Microb Cell Fact 8 23 10.1186/1475-2859-8-23 19383131 2680810 http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2859-8-23
11. Tsukamoto Y, Kasai M, Kakuda H 2001 Construction of a Bacillus subtilis (natto) with high productivity of vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) by analog resistance Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 65 9 2007 2015 10.1271/bbb.65.2007 11676013 http://dx.doi.org/10.1271/bbb.65.2007
12. Derting TL, Ebert-May D 2010 Learner-centered inquiry in undergraduate biology: positive relationships with long-term student achievement CBE Life Sci Educ 9 462 10.1187/cbe.10-02-0011 21123693 2995764 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.10-02-0011
13. Simurda MC 2012 Does the transition to an active-learning environment for the introductory course reduce students’ overall knowledge of the various disciplines in biology? J Microbiol Biol Educ 13 1 17 20 10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.340 23653776 3577302 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.340

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2019-04-26
2019-09-20

Abstract:

Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented by . Because natto is high in protein and contains healthful bacteria, dieticians and producers have campaigned for higher consumption of natto in areas such as Kansai, where our university is located. One of the reasons for the low consumption of natto is its distinctive flavor. As a problem-solving exercise, undergraduate students attempted to make natto more marketable. Students set a goal of modifying natto flavor by adding spices to achieve flavors deemed palatable by organoleptic tests. During the exercise, they noticed that lemongrass, , had a flavor-masking ability that reduced the intensity of natto flavor, and they finally determined that it was a useful food additive to make natto marketable. The exercise was an active learning process that effectively induced voluntary student effort of to solve problems originating from microorganisms.

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