Food fermentation technology likely originated sometime between 8,000 to 12,000 years ago as plants and animals were being domesticated in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia [1-3]. The development of primitive pottery technology likely led to early fermentation experiments, either planned or unplanned. Cheese, bread, and alcoholic beverages may have resulted from the fermentation of milk, grains, fruits, and vegetables stored in ceramic jars or pots. If these "spoiled" or fermented products were found to have desirable sensory properties, they may have been developed as the first processed or fermented foods . An important characteristic of fermentation was the increase in the storage lifetime during which foods could be safely eaten. The microbial nature of food fermentation or foodborne illnesses was not understood, however, until the advent of the science of microbiology in the late 19th century. The fermentation of vegetables by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) is now well understood as an effective means of preserving and ensuring the safety of foods [4,5]. LAB are being considered for use in nonfermented vegetable products as a means of ensuring safety and preventing spoilage [6-8]. Fermented and acidified vegetable products, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, olives, and cucumber pickles, not only have desirable sensory qualities, but also have an excellent safety record with no known reported cases of foodborne illness.
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