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Rectangle Coffee Table With Storage – In a previous post, we have introduced the Ecuadorian Chair with a summary of the research and development of two Ecuadorian products: plantain (musa paradisiaca) and physalis (physalis peruviana l.). On this occasion, we present only one of the products, which is physal or uvilla, as they call it colloquially in their country of origin, Ecuador.

Uvilla (physalis peruviana l.) is a plant of the solanaceae family, the fruits of which grow and ripen inside its calyx. Its origin is unclear, but it is believed to have been in the Andes of South America, such as in Peru (Leggue, 1974), Brazil (CRFG, 1997) and Ecuador (Bartholomaus et al., 1990).

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We mainly find it in the tropical zone of America, Antilles and Australia. According to some sources, the main uvilla producing countries are Colombia, South Africa, New Zealand, Kenya, India, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Honduras and Peru. Around the world, the main exporting countries are: Zimbabwe, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, South Africa, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico. (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries, 2011, Ecuador, FAO 1982).

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The genus “physaloides” includes 90-100 species (D`Arcy, 1991; Martínez, 1998) and one of the edible ones today is physalis peruviana, also known as guchuba, uchuva, uvilla, cape rose or Andean cherry.

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This fruit is considered a “functional food” because it has immunostimulant, anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral and diuretic properties, according to Harman (2004). In addition, it has medicinal properties such as purifying the blood, reducing albumin in the kidneys, relieving throat problems, strengthening the optic nerve, clearing cataracts, and controlling amebiasis (Corporación Colombia Internacional, Universidad de los Andes and Department of National Planning, 1994). It is a source of provitamin A and vitamin C (Herman, 1994b).

Inside, we work intensively on fermentations. Therefore, the first development was the fermentation of uvillas for later analysis through surveys conducted with a total of 100 people, both professionals in the gastronomy sector and actual consumers. Tastings have been of an affective type, with the simple aim of obtaining a positive or negative response to the acceptance of fermented fruit.

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We have been inspired by the Japanese technique and custom of lactic fermentation of fruits, such as the well-known “umeboshi”. The word “ume” or Japanese apricot is really a plum (prunnus mume, armeniaca mume), which literally translates to “dried plum”. Umeboshi is traditionally used to make umeshu-infused liquor with umeboshi.

In the case of umeboshi, it is a Japanese apricot that is grown in early summer, when it starts to change its color from green to yellow, and is preserved for a few months by salting through lactic acid fermentation. They are then dried in the sun and kept semi-dry. They are usually red in color because they are fermented with red shiso leaves, but they are also available without shiso. The most common way to consume them in Japan is with a cup of bacha tea, served in tempura or, most importantly, on top of a bowl of rice (hinomau bento, which refers to the Japanese flag). (Hosking, R., 2001)

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The aim of this development is to obtain a fermented physalis similar to the Japanese product “umeboshi” with high gastronomic value, promoting its use and spreading it as a new commercialized Andean product worldwide.

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This is called a cellular process where glucose is used for energy, during which the glucose is partially oxidized and the residual product is lactic acid, which is traditionally used mainly in the production of dairy products such as yogurt, vile, creme fraiche, lambic-type. beer, as well as vegetables and fruits such as sauerkraut, kimchi or umeboshi.

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Lactic acid fermentation takes place in three phases; Initially, anaerobic bacteria such as Klebsiella and Enterobacter perform more strongly in fermentation, creating a favorable acidic environment for subsequent bacteria. The second phase begins when the environment is free of most bacteria and Leuconostoc mesenteroides and other Leuconostoc spp. too acidic for they take control In the third phase, various lactobacilli ferment the remaining sugar and lower the pH.

Unlike many other microorganisms that die in a salty environment, these bacteria have the great characteristic of being halophilic, which is why lactic acid fermentation has always been related to the salt percentage, we are always talking about a minimum salt content of 2-3%. to the total mass of the fermentable. In this case, in addition to creating a selective environment for lactic acid bacteria to live, salt extracts water from products by osmosis, accelerating fermentation. In the case of “Umeboshi”, it is traditionally made with 20%-25% salt, but you can find them on the market from 4%.

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Traditionally, glass or wooden jars are used for this type of fermentation, always making sure that the product is completely covered with liquid, so that the product does not come into direct contact with oxygen, but it has an aerobic fermentation, therefore a vacuum. bags are currently used for ease of handling (always leaving oxygen behind).

Different percentages of salt were tested: 2%, 3% and 6%, this range was chosen because these were the accepted salt ranges in fermented products and in previous experiments. All were made in a vacuum bag with 85% vacuum.

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Fermentation was carried out in a refrigerator at 4ºC for 2 months, because in experiments with other products, carrying out cold fermentation gave better results in organoleptic sense, improving the taste and smell.

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Tests made with a higher amount of salt are too salty for us, and a large part of the specific taste of physalis is hidden behind the intensity of the salt. Tests with lower salt content were better accepted. Nevertheless, the first tests can be used after soaking and desalting the product, confirming that some of its flavor and aroma are lost during its soaking.

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We could say that fermented uvilla, due to its very similar acidity and saltiness, can be used in the same way as “umeboshi”, either as a garnish, part of sauces, etc., or as a simple snack. In this section, when we distinguish the fermented product from the fermentation liquid extracted from the uvilla, it is a transparent and salty liquid that can be used as any fermented sauce, enhancing any preparation such as sauces, broths, sauces, marinades, etc.

After several months of fermented product development and various organoleptic and consumer tests, we saw that the most accepted was 3% salt, 80% accepted in a product reception tasting conducted with 100 people, other salt percentages of 6% and 8% when accepted in smaller amounts , being the least accepted at 12%.

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This opens up great opportunities for us in different fruits fermented with lactic acid. We have already tried different fruits and vegetables, looking for other uses for lactic acid fermentation, with very good nutritional and gastronomic results in these cases, both in restaurants and for everyday use.

– ALVARES BOXES, GILBERTO; CAMPOVERDE VIVANCO, GENNY; ESPINOSA MEJIA, MARCO; Technical guide for growing uvilla (physalis peruviana L.) in Loja. Loja, Ecuador, 2012.

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– FISHER, GERARD; MARTINEZ, ORLANDO. Cape Gooseberry (physalis peruviana L.) quality and maturity in relation to fruit color. National University of Colombia, Santafe de Bogota. 1999 year.

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– FISHER, GERARD; MIRANDA, DIEGO; WILSON PIEDRAHITA, JORGE ROMERO. Progress in capelin (physalis peruviana L.) cultivation, post-harvest and export in Colombia. National University of Colombia, Faculty of Agronomy, Bogotá, 2005. ISBN: 958-701-603-3.

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– JUNTAMAY TENEZACA, ELVIA ROCIO. Evaluation of nutritional value of dehydrated capelin (physalis peruviana L.) at three temperatures using a tray dehydrator. Riobamba, Ecuador, 2010.


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