|Author: ||H. Cheigh|
|Keywords: ||Fermented vegetable products, processing, brining, nutritional quality, shelf life, microbiology, lactic acid bacteria, health benefits, functional properties|
Kimchi is a Korean traditional fermented vegetable food and is produced through a series of processes, including brining of major vegetables, blending with various other ingredients and fermentation.
There are two major groups of kimchi, with many kinds in each group. Baechu (Chinese cabbage) kimchi is the most popular product.
Kimchi fermentation is initiated by various microorganisms naturally present in raw materials, and the fermentation is later dominated by lactic acid bacteria.
Salt, sugar, temperature, oxygen and population of desirable microflora are major factors that influence the fermentation behavior and kimchi quality.
Complex biochemical changes occur before, during, and after fermentation.
The characteristics of kimchi differ depending on the raw materials used, brining process, fermentation and storage methods.
Kimchi is a nutritional food, and it contains high level of vitamins (ascorbic acid, carotene, B-complex), minerals (calcium, iron, potassium) and dietary fiber.
Kimchi has demonstrated many health benefits besides nutritional functions, such as antioxidant, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic activities.
Several biologically active components including carotene, capsaicin, chlorophylls, dietary fibers, phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid, allylsulfides and lactic acid are considered to be the active agents of the health benefits of kimchi.
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