Fermented Plant Products from Tropical and Warm Countries

Authored by: Y.ann. Demarigny

Handbook of Vegetable Preservation and Processing

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781482212280
eBook ISBN: 9781482212297
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b19252-30

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Abstract

The human diet has always relied on products from two different origins, that is, animal and vegetal. In the first case, meats, eggs, and milks are the most common raw materials to be consumed directly or after transformation. They mainly result from the specific breeding of animals, as observed in many societies, even if in some primitive societies, hunting is still a common practice. On the other hand, it is necessary to crop, harvest, or gather vegetal products. At this time, we can consider that all the plant products eligible as potential dietary sources have been experimented as food crops. As raw materials, vegetal products take many forms, from vegetables, grains, roots, peas, and beans to shoots and fruits. All these animal and vegetal materials share the same basic characteristic: they are exposed to deteriorations, more or less quickly in accordance with their biochemical characteristics (Jay et al., 2005). The shelf life of a fruit (high moisture content and high sugar rate) will generally not exceed a few days, whereas a grain (dry, encased within a resistant hull) will store for many months. However, the incidence of these deteriorations largely depends on the environmental characteristics of the region from which these raw materials are obtained. The climate, including temperature and humidity, is an important factor that influences the storage of raw vegetal products. In this sense, civilizations that developed in warm and tropical areas had to cope with particularly strong challenges. The pressure exerted by the environment meant adapting the local crops by means of the most suitable production flow charts. This is probably why we have observed such a diversity of vegetal products in these parts of the world.

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