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Small Glass Topped Coffee Table – In a previous article, we presented the Ecuadorian pulpit as well as a summary of all research and development work on two Ecuadorian products, plantain (musa paradisiaca) and cape gooseberry (physalis peruviana l.). On this occasion we are going to present only one of the products which is the physalis or uvilla as they call it colloquially in their country of origin, Ecuador.

The uvilla (physalis peruviana l.) is a plant belonging to the nightshade family and its fruits grow and ripen inside its calyx. Its origin is unclear, but it is thought to have been in the South American Andes such as Peru (Leggue, 1974), Brazil (CRFG, 1997) and Ecuador (Bartholomaus et al., 1990 ).

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It is mainly found in the tropical zone of America, the West Indies and Australia. According to some sources, the main producing countries of uvilla are Colombia, South Africa, New Zealand, Kenya, India, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, the United United, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Honduras and Peru. Worldwide, 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 to 100 species (D`Arcy, 1991; Martínez, 1998) and one of the edible species today is the physalis peruviana, also known as guchuba, uchuva, uvilla, gooseberry, Cap or Andean cherry. .

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It is a fruit considered as “functional food” since according to Harman (2004) it has immuno-stimulating, anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral and diuretic characteristics. In addition, medicinal properties such as purifying blood, reducing albumin in the kidneys, alleviating throat problems, strengthening the optic nerve, cleaning cataracts and controlling amoebiasis are given in it. (Corporación Colombia Internacional, Universidad de los Andes and the Department of National Planning, 1994). It is a source of provitamin A and vitamin C (Herman, 1994b).

Inside we work intensely on the fermentations. Therefore, the first development was to ferment uvillas for further analysis through surveys conducted with a total of 100 people, both professionals in the gastronomy sector and real consumers. The tastings were of an affective type with the simple objective of obtaining a positive or negative response regarding the acceptance of the fermented fruit.

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We were inspired by a Japanese technique and custom of lactic fermentation of fruits, such as the famous “umeboshi”. The word “ume” or Japanese apricot is actually a plum (prunnus mume, armeniaca mume) being the literal translation “dried plum”. Umeboshi is traditionally used to make umeshu macerated liquor with umeboshi.

In the case of umeboshi, it is a Japanese apricot tree which is cultivated at the beginning of summer when it begins to change color from green to yellowish and which is preserved by lactic fermentation in salting for a few months . They are then dehydrated in the sun and kept semi-dry. They are usually red in color because they are fermented with red shiso leaves, but they also exist without shiso. The most common way to consume them in Japan is in a cup of bacha tea, desalted in tempura or, more importantly, on a bowl of rice (hinomau bento, in reference to the Japanese flag). (Hosking, R., 2001)

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The objective of this development is to obtain fermented physalis similar to a Japanese product called “umeboshi” of great gastronomic value, promoting its use and disseminating it as a new Andean product that can be marketed all over the world.

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This is called the cellular process where glucose is used to obtain energy, where the glucose is partially oxidized and where the waste product is lactic acid, traditionally used in the production of mainly dairy products such such as yoghurt, viili, fresh cream, lambic-type beers as well as vegetables and fruits such as sauerkraut, kimchi or umeboshi.

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

These bacteria have the great characteristic of being halophilic, unlike many other microorganisms that die in saline conditions, which is why lactic fermentations have always been linked to percentages of salt, we always speak of a minimum 2% – 3% salt based on the total weight of what is going to be fermented. In this case, in addition to generating a selective environment for the life of lactic acid bacteria, the salt extracts water from the products by osmosis, accelerating fermentation. In the case of “umeboshi” it is traditionally made with 20%-25% salt, but it is found on the market from 4%.

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Traditionally, for this type of fermentation, glass or wooden jars are used, always ensuring that the product is completely covered with liquid to prevent the product from coming into direct contact with oxygen, but it has a aerobic fermentation, therefore vacuum bags are currently used (always leaving oxygen) to facilitate handling.

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

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The fermentation was carried out in a refrigerator at 4 ° C for 2 months, it was carried out in this way because in tests with other products, cold fermentation gave better results from the organoleptic point of view, improving flavor and smell.

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Tests performed with a higher amount of salt are too salty for us and much of the specific flavor of Gooseberry is hidden behind the intensity of the salt. Tests with less salt had better acceptance. Even so, early tests can be used after soaking and desalting the product, emphasizing that some of its flavor and aroma is lost in this soaking.

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It could be said that fermented uvilla can be used in the same way as “umeboshi” because of its very similar acidity and saltiness characteristics, as part of a garnish, sauces, etc., or as simple snack. In this part, if we differentiate the fermented product from the fermentation liquid that is extracted from the uvilla, a transparent and saline liquid that can be used like any fermented sauce, improving any preparation such as salad dressings , broths, sauces, marinades, etc.

After several months of elaboration of the fermented products and various organoleptic and consumer tests, we saw that the most accepted was the 3% salt, with 80% acceptance during a product acceptance tasting carried out on 100 people. , other percentages of salt like 6% and 8% if accepted in lesser amounts, being the least accepted 12%.

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This opens up great possibilities for us in different lactic fermentation fruits, we have already tried different fruits and vegetables looking for other uses of lactic fermentation, having in these cases very good nutritional and gastronomic results for use in catering and daily.

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

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– FISHER, GERARD; MARTINEZ, ORLANDO. Quality and maturity of the Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.) in relation to the color of the fruit. National University of Colombia, Santafe de Bogota. 1999.

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

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– JUNTAMAY TENEZACA, ELVIA ROCIO. Nutritional evaluation of dehydrated Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.) at three temperatures using a tray dehydrator. Riobamba, Ecuador, 2010.


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Small Glass Topped Coffee Table

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