Amaranth (Amaranthus sp.) is a promising indigenous leafy vegetable plant capable of contributing to food security in sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to its adaptability to diverse soils and its drought tolerance. Its edible parts such as leaves are characterized by high nutrient content. Food losses along the supply chain due to spoilage, however, especially of fresh produce is a challenge facing most of the sub-Saharan African countries in tackling food insecurity in the region. This calls for innovative yet inexpensive solutions such as natural fermentation to preserve the quality and safety of the commodity. To demonstrate the feasibility of natural fermentation in the preservation of vegetable amaranth, leaves were submerged (1:0.5 w/v) in distilled water with 3% sucrose and 3% NaCl dissolved. Control batches were prepared using only distilled water (1:0.5 w/v) with amaranth leaves. Samplings of both treated leaves and controls occurred at 0, 24, 48, 72, and 168 h to measure the pH and determine microbial population changes using culture and molecular-based techniques. Furthermore, the effects of treatment on nutritional content were assayed at the end of the process to determine the levels of B-group vitamins, β-carotene, lutein, and anti-nutrient phytic acid from unfermented fresh air-dried and 3% sucrose and 3% NaCl treated amaranth leaves. Finally, a visive and olfactive analysis was carried out to evaluate the acceptability of the final product. The significant drop of pH and the correct growth of Lactobacillaceae occurred only in treated batches, although Lactococcus was found in both treated and control samples. Furthermore, mean counts observed on selective media for controls and molecular high-throughput sequencing (HTS) analyses confirmed that in control samples, the undesired bacteria represented more than 60% of the microbial population. In treated amaranth leaves the amount of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, β-carotene and lutein content were higher compared to the fresh unfermented air-dried leaves, and phytic acid content diminished after 7-days treatment. These findings suggest that treatment of amaranth leaves using 3% sucrose and 3% NaCl does not only preserve the commodity by arresting the growth of undesired microorganisms involved in spoilage and fosters the lactic acid bacteria but also improves the nutritional content of the fermented end product that has been warmly welcomed by panelists.

Misci, C., Taskin, E., Vaccari, F., Dall'asta, M., Vezzulli, F., Fontanella, M. C., Bandini, F., Imathiu, S., Sila, D., Bertuzzi, T., Cocconcelli, P. S., Puglisi, E., Evolution of microbial communities and nutritional content of fermented Amaranthus sp. leaves, <<INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD MICROBIOLOGY>>, 2022; 362 (362): 109445-109445. [doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2021.109445] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/195390]

Evolution of microbial communities and nutritional content of fermented Amaranthus sp. leaves

Misci, C.;Taskin, E.;Vaccari, F.;Dall'Asta, M.;Vezzulli, F.;Fontanella, M. C.;Bandini, F.;Bertuzzi, T.;Cocconcelli, P. S.;Puglisi, E.
2022

Abstract

Amaranth (Amaranthus sp.) is a promising indigenous leafy vegetable plant capable of contributing to food security in sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to its adaptability to diverse soils and its drought tolerance. Its edible parts such as leaves are characterized by high nutrient content. Food losses along the supply chain due to spoilage, however, especially of fresh produce is a challenge facing most of the sub-Saharan African countries in tackling food insecurity in the region. This calls for innovative yet inexpensive solutions such as natural fermentation to preserve the quality and safety of the commodity. To demonstrate the feasibility of natural fermentation in the preservation of vegetable amaranth, leaves were submerged (1:0.5 w/v) in distilled water with 3% sucrose and 3% NaCl dissolved. Control batches were prepared using only distilled water (1:0.5 w/v) with amaranth leaves. Samplings of both treated leaves and controls occurred at 0, 24, 48, 72, and 168 h to measure the pH and determine microbial population changes using culture and molecular-based techniques. Furthermore, the effects of treatment on nutritional content were assayed at the end of the process to determine the levels of B-group vitamins, β-carotene, lutein, and anti-nutrient phytic acid from unfermented fresh air-dried and 3% sucrose and 3% NaCl treated amaranth leaves. Finally, a visive and olfactive analysis was carried out to evaluate the acceptability of the final product. The significant drop of pH and the correct growth of Lactobacillaceae occurred only in treated batches, although Lactococcus was found in both treated and control samples. Furthermore, mean counts observed on selective media for controls and molecular high-throughput sequencing (HTS) analyses confirmed that in control samples, the undesired bacteria represented more than 60% of the microbial population. In treated amaranth leaves the amount of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, β-carotene and lutein content were higher compared to the fresh unfermented air-dried leaves, and phytic acid content diminished after 7-days treatment. These findings suggest that treatment of amaranth leaves using 3% sucrose and 3% NaCl does not only preserve the commodity by arresting the growth of undesired microorganisms involved in spoilage and fosters the lactic acid bacteria but also improves the nutritional content of the fermented end product that has been warmly welcomed by panelists.
Inglese
Misci, C., Taskin, E., Vaccari, F., Dall'asta, M., Vezzulli, F., Fontanella, M. C., Bandini, F., Imathiu, S., Sila, D., Bertuzzi, T., Cocconcelli, P. S., Puglisi, E., Evolution of microbial communities and nutritional content of fermented Amaranthus sp. leaves, <<INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD MICROBIOLOGY>>, 2022; 362 (362): 109445-109445. [doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2021.109445] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/195390]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10807/195390
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