Lactic-acid fermentation as a low-cost means of food preservation in tropical countries
The range of traditional lactic-acid-fermented foods in tropical countries is briefly reviewed. Recent studies on the lactic acid fermentation of fish and cassava products are described. Lacticacid-fermented fish products may offer considerable scope for the development of new food products and for the use of under-utilised fish species. Lactic-acid-fermented fish products are common in parts of Asia; methods to improve the product and shelf-fife quality, to reduce microbial risks and to accelerate the process are described. This work is based on fish/salt/carbohydrate model systems. The nutritional aspects of cassava fermentation are discussed with respect to factors involved in determining residual cyanide levels; the possible anti-nutritional rSle of condensed tannins is mentioned. The increasing consumption of meat products in tropical countries emphasises the need for a preservation method that does not depend on refrigeration. The possible production of sausage ingredients preserved by lactic acid fermentation, and the associated research needs are described.