Kimchi is a popular Korean dish.

Kimchi, a traditional Korean delicacy is famous all over the world. The deep-set flavours in the dish set it apart, which apparently comes from the fermentation of its ingredients. Demystifying the source of its fermentation process, The World Institute of Kimchi (WiKim) declared that it had found out the origin source of lactic acid bacteria involved in the fermentation of kimchi, and it comes from cabbage and garlic used to make it.The group of researchers involved in the study, observed the characteristics of the fermentation process depending on the strains of lactic acid bacteria in the vegetable dish, which is fermented by lactic acid bacteria drawn from raw ingredients, such as kimchi cabbage, garlic, ginger, and red pepper.

Lactic acid bacteria produce various metabolites during the fermentation process depending on the ingredients and storage temperature. The metabolites are responsible for producing the unique flavours of the popular kimchi. In fact, controlling and regulating the complicated fermentation processes with microorganisms present in kimchi is still a mystery in the world of science.

WiKim’s Microbiology and Functionality Research Group led by Dr. Roh, Seong Woon, traced the origin source of lactic acid bacteria that directly impacts the fermentation of kimchi. The team of researchers carried out multi-omics analysis after selectively sterilising four main ingredients of kimchi – cabbage, garlic, ginger and red pepper.

“We’ve successfully figured out scientific grounds for the fermentation of kimchi by tracing the origin source of lactic acid bacteria involved in the fermentation. This will surely give us an opportunity to strengthen the status of South Korea as the origin of kimchi,” said WiKim’s Acting Director Dr. Choi, Hak-Jong.

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