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Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Volume 49, 2018, Pages 88-93

Microbial ecology of cereal vinegar fermentation: insights for driving the ecosystem function

Zhen-MingLu1,4, Zong-Min Wang1,4, Xiao-Juan Zhang1, Jian Mao1, Jin-SongShi1, Zheng-HongXu1,2,3

National Engineering Laboratory for Cereal Fermentation Technology, Key Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology of Ministry of Education, School of Pharmaceutical Science, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, PR China.


Over thousands of years, humans have mastered the natural vinegar fermentation technique of cultivating functional microbiota on different raw materials. Functional microbial communities that form reproducibly on non-autoclaved raw materials through repeated batch acetic acid fermentation underpin the flavour development of traditional cereal vinegars. However, how to modulate rationally and optimise the metabolic function of these naturally engineered acidic ecosystems remains unclear. Exploring two key minorities in a vinegar ecosystem, including microbial functions (e.g., flavour and aroma synthesis) and microbial strains, is a crucial step for the vinegar industry to modulate the metabolic function of vinegar microbiota, to monitor the fermentation process, and to maintain the flavour quality of final product.

Graphical abstract


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