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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2004

Folates in fermented vegetables - a pilot study

Jagerstad M, Jastrebova J, Svensson U


The present work aimed to evaluate whether lactic acid fermentation can increase folate concentrations in vegetables making these foods superior to similar foods produced by the more common preservation techniques. The concentrations of folates present in raw vegetables, usually root vegetables, were followed during pre-treatment and fermentation with the purpose to improve the folate retention. Commercial starter cultures aimed for manufacture of fermented dairy products were subjected to mixtures of grated and blanched root vegetables, mainly beetroots and turnips. The results indicate that among 10 different lactic acid bacteria (LAB) cultures, one mixture was superior, resulting in almost a doubling of folate concentration, mainly as 5-methyl-tetrahydrofolic acid (5-CH3-H(4)folate), a native and bioavailable folate form. Interestingly, one species of propionibacteria produced vitamin B-12. The retention of folate during the overall fermentation process varied between 50% and 75% when calculated on wet weight. The concentration of the folate was similar in the surrounding liquid medium as in the solids of the final fermented product. Sauerkraut, a classical fermented vegetable, did not have significantly increased folate content. Some commercial canned samples of sauerkraut contained between 50 and 200 mug/kg, mainly as 5-CH3-H(4)folate. (C) 2004 Swiss Society of Food Science and Technology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved


Folate; Fermented vegetables; lactic acid producing bacteria; HPLC

Published in

Food Science and Technology
2004, Volume: 37, number: 6, pages: 603-611

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      Food Science

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