For thousands of years, humans have exploited the natural process of fermentation of various foods to preserve them, and to enjoy the changes in the sensory characteristics that could be produced. Recently, the world of fermented beverages has gone through a rapid transformation linked to deep changes in consumer preferences, consumption habits, climate, new regulations and entry of emerging countries, accompanied by safety concerns and an important reduction in economic resources available to people. As with all food handling and preparation, we need to be sure the fermented food produced is safe. Fermentation is a complex biological process where microbial diversity takes place and the environment created inside of the fermented food provides the conditions to reduce the risk of pathogenic bacteria growth, thus providing safe food. In addition, food manufacturers fermenting food carefully control their processing and must comply with the National Food Standards Codes. Although these products have a generally good food safety record, sometimes inadequate manufacturing practices or the presence of acidophilic pathogens could compromise food safety. In fact, fermented beverages may adversely become contaminated with pathogens or microbial toxins and thereby transform into vehicles that can transmit diseases to the consumers. Moreover, many microorganisms can deteriorate the physical-chemical and sensory properties as well as the flavor of the final products. In this editorial, we present an overview of a review and six original research papers published in the Special Issue “Fermentation Process and Microbial Safety of Beverages” of the Beverages journal.
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