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Updated by 219003133 on Mar 31, 2022
Headline for Wissella koreenisis, the SIGNIFICANT contributor to kimchi's taste and flavouring
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Wissella koreenisis, the SIGNIFICANT contributor to kimchi's taste and flavouring

One of the main lactic acid bacterium involved in the fermentation of popular traditional Korean side dish, kimchi




Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made with fermented vegetables, mainly cabbage, and a variety of seasonings like gochugaru which is red pepper powder. It provides many health benefits for example kimchi has a lot of nutrients, probiotics and reduces inflammation.


Involved in the fermentation

Involved in the fermentation

Fermentation of kimchi is carried out by lactic acid bacteria mainly in the genera Weissella, Leuconstoc, and Lactobacillus. Weissella koreensis , from the family Leuconostocaceae, is a gram-positive, non-spore forming, heterofermentative and nonmotile short-rod bacterium (Lee, J. H., Bae, J. W. & Chun, J. Draft genome sequence of Weissella koreensis KCTC 3621T. J. Bacteriol. 194, 5711–5712 (2012)) that is the dominant species found in kimchi and is responsible for its taste and flavour.

_W. koreensis _ has anti obesity effects due to its production of L-ornithine, a medicinal non protein amino acid, from arginine and its crucial role in preventing intracellular lipid accumulation by down-regulating the expression of adipocyte-specific genes.(Moon, Y. J. et al. Intracellular lipid accumulation inhibitory effect of Weissella koreensis OK1-6 isolated from kimchi on differentiating adipocyte. J. Appl. Microbiol. 113, 652–658 (2012)).

Weissella strains have the ability to produce antimicrobial exopolysaccharides which protect bacteria from pathogenic microbes which is useful to the pharmaceutical, medical and food industries.


Food technology

Food technology

When making kimchi you first need to brine the vegetables to draw out water. Spices like gochugaro will be added. The presence of gochugaru affects kimchi fermentation by increasing the concentration of secondary metabolites during the process. Sugar is also added which plays the role of carbon source during fermentation. The vegetables are then placed in an airtight jar/container and placed in the fridge where fermentation will occur

Some strains of Weissella can be pathogenic and have antibiotic resistance but not much is known about W. koreensis.

The Science of Kimchi Fermentation - Science - Flavourful Summer of STEAM

Welcome to the first Flavourful Summer of STEAM video! Today we are making Kimchi and learning about the science behind its fermentation!Check out the recipe...