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Dynamic changes of bacterial communities and nitrite character during northeastern Chinese sauerkraut fermentation

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Northeastern Chinese sauerkraut is a well-known traditional fermented vegetable in China. Incomplete identification of the microorganisms’ (bacteria in spontaneous fermentation) diversity and accumulation of nitrite make it difficult to normalize the fermentation process and product qualities of northeastern Chinese sauerkraut. Conventional culturing and polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis methods were combined to describe microbial structure and diversity. Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, Enterobacter, Accumulibacter, Thermotoga, Pseudomonas, Clostridium, Rahnella and Citrobacter were predominant microorganisms in different fermentation periods. The pH value and nitrite concentration presented a certain relevance to the amount of lactic acid bacteria. Lactobacillus and Leuconostoc had the ability to decrease nitrite by inhibiting nitrate-reducing bacteria such as Enterobacter. Therefore, Northeastern Chinese sauerkraut should not be eaten until 4 weeks of fermentation for the safety and quality of fermented foods. Northeastern Chinese sauerkraut is rich in lactic acid bacteria, which demonstrate its ability as an excellent probiotic for applications in functional foods.

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Correspondence to Xinli Li.

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Zhou, Q., Zang, S., Zhao, Z. et al. Dynamic changes of bacterial communities and nitrite character during northeastern Chinese sauerkraut fermentation. Food Sci Biotechnol 27, 79–85 (2018).

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