Technological, functional and safety aspects of enterococci in fermented vegetable products: a mini-review
Di Cagno R
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Bacteria belonging to the genus Enterococcus spp.—a member of the lactic acid bacteria group—are natural inhabitants of various environments, including vegetable products. Although some strains show pathogenic determinants, overall these bacteria may have some pro-technological features. Some enterococci have been described as potential starter or protective cultures in the dairy industry, since they contribute to the organoleptic and quality characteristics of dairy products. Although several fermented vegetable products have a long history in human nutrition, studies regarding autochthonous enterococci and their application to fermented vegetable foods are much less numerous than those concerning dairy foods. In this review, after a general overview of enterococci, their presence and role in fermented vegetable foods (including table olives, sauerkraut, kimchi, tomato juice, French beans, caper berries and cereal-based products) will be covered.