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Upholstered Coffee Table With Storage – In a previous entry, we presented the Ecuador chair together with a summary of all the research and development work for two Ecuadorian products, plantain (musa paradisiaca) and physalis (physalis peruviana l.). On this occasion, we will present just one of the products which is physalis or uvilla as they call it colloquially in the country of origin Ecuador.

The Uvilla (physalis peruviana l.) is a plant belonging to the Solanaceae family and its fruits grow and ripen inside the stream. Its origin is unclear, but it is believed to be in the South American Andes such as Peru (Leggue, 1974), Brazil (CRFG, 1997) and Ecuador (Bartholomaus et al., 1990).

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Mainly we find it in the tropical zone of America, the Antilles and Australia. According to some sources, the main uvilla producing countries are Colombia, South Africa, New Zealand, Kenya, India, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, Great Britain, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Honduras and Peru. Worldwide, the most important 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 ones today is physalis peruviana, also known as guchuba, uchuva, uvilla, cape gooseberry or duck cherry.

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It is a fruit that is considered a “functional food” since, according to Harman (2004), it has immune-stimulating, anti-cancer, antibacterial, antiviral and diuretic properties. In addition, medicinal properties contribute 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).

Internally, we work intensively with fermentations. Therefore, the first development was to ferment Uvillas for later analysis through surveys carried out on a total of 100 people, both professionals in the gastronomy sector and real consumers. The tastings have been of an affective type with the simple aim of obtaining a positive or negative response regarding the acceptance of the fermented fruit.

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We have been inspired by a Japanese technique and custom of fermenting fruit lactically, such as the well-known “umeboshi”. The word “ume” or Japanese apricot is actually a plum (prunnus mume, armeniaca mume) which is the literal translation “dried plum”. Umeboshi is traditionally used to make umeshu macerated liquor with umeboshis.

As for umeboshi, it is a Japanese apricot that is grown in early summer when it begins to change color from green to yellowish and is preserved through lactic acid 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, most importantly, on top of a bowl of rice (hinomau bento, referring to the Japanese flag). (Hosking, R., 2001)

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The aim of this development is to obtain fermented physalis similar to a Japanese product called “umeboshi” of great gastronomic value, promote its use and spread it as a new marketable Andean product throughout the world.

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

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Lactic acid fermentation occurs in three phases; At first, anaerobic bacteria such as Klebsiella and Enterobacter are stronger in fermentation, producing a favorable acidic environment for the next bacteria. The second phase begins when the environment is too acidic for most bacteria and Leuconostoc mesenteroides and other Leuconostoc spp. take control. In the third phase, various Lactobacillus ferment any remaining sugars and lower the pH.

These bacteria have the great property of being halophilic, unlike many other microorganisms that die in salty conditions, therefore lactic acid fermentations have always been related to salt percentage, we are always talking about a minimum of 2% – 3% salt in relation. to the total weight of what is to be fermented. In this case, in addition to generating a selective environment for the milk bacteria to live in, the salt extracts the water from the products by osmosis, accelerating fermentation. As for “umeboshi”, it is traditionally made with 20%-25% salt, but they can be found on the market from 4%.

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Traditionally, for this type of fermentation, glass or wooden jars are used, always making sure that the product is completely covered with liquid to prevent the product from coming into direct contact with oxygen, but it has an aerobic fermentation, which is why vacuum bags are used currently (which always leaves oxygen behind) to facilitate handling.

Different percentages of salt were tested: 2%, 3% and 6%, this range was chosen since those in fermented products and previous tests 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 4ºC for 2 months, it was done this way since in tests with other products, carrying out the cold fermentation gave better results from an organoleptic point of view, and improved taste and smell.

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The tests carried out with a higher amount of salt are too salty for us, and much of the specific taste of physalis is hidden behind the intensity of the salt. The tests with a smaller amount of salt had better acceptance. Nevertheless, the first tests can be used after soaking and desalting the product, insisting that part of the taste and aroma is lost in this soaking.

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We can say that the fermented uvilla can be used in the same way as “umeboshi” due to its very similar acidity and salinity properties, as part of side dishes, sauces, etc., or as a simple snack. In this section, if we separate the fermented product from the fermentation liquid extracted from the uvilla, a transparent and salty liquid that can be used as any fermented sauce, improving any preparation such as dressings, broths, sauces, marinades, etc.

After several months of developing the fermented products and various organoleptic and consumer tests, we saw that the most accepted was 3% salt, with 80% acceptance in a product acceptance tasting conducted on 100 people, another salt percentage as 6% and 8% if they were accepted in smaller quantities, the least accepted is 12%.

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This opens up great opportunities for us in different milk-fermented fruits. We have already tried different fruits and vegetables in search of other uses for lactic acid fermentation, in these cases with very good nutritional and gastronomic results for use in restaurants 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 ripeness of Cape gooseberry (physalis peruviana L.) in relation to the color of the fruit. National University of Colombia, Santa Fe de Bogota. 1999.

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– FISHER, GERARD; MIRANDA, DIEGO; WILSON PIEDRAHITA, JORGE ROMERO. Advances in 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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