Pereira, N, Alegria, C, Aleixo, C, Martins, P, Gonçalves, EM, & Abreu, M (2021). Selection of Autochthonous LAB Strains of Unripe Green Tomato towards the Production of Highly Nutritious Lacto-Fermented Ingredients.Foods, 10, 2916. DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10122916 (IF2021 5,561; Q2 Food Science & Tecnology)
Lactic fermentation of unripe green tomatoes as a tool to produce food ingredients is a viable alternative for adding value to industrial tomatoes unsuitable for processing and left in large quantities in the fields. Fermentation using starter cultures isolated from the fruit (plant-matrix adapted) can have advantages over allochthonous strains in obtaining fermented products with sensory acceptability and potentially probiotic characteristics. This paper details the characterisation of the unripe green tomato lactic microbiota to screen LAB strains for use as starter cultures in fermentation processes, along with LAB strains available from INIAV’s collection. Morphological, biochemical (API system), and genomic (16S rDNA gene sequencing) identification showed that the dominant LAB genera in unripe green tomato are Lactiplantibacillus, Leuconostoc, and Weissella. Among nine tested strains, autochthonous Lactiplantibacillus plantarum and allochthonous Weissella paramesenteroides showed tolerance to added solanine (200 ppm) and the best in vitro probiotic potential. The results indicate that the two LAB strains are promising candidates for manufacturing probiotic fermented foods from unripe green tomatoes.