White And Walnut Coffee Table – In a previous post we presented the Cátedra Ecuador together with a summary of all the research and development work of two Ecuadorian products, banana (musa paradisiaca) and physalis (physalis peruviana l.). On this occasion we are going to present just one of the products which is physalis or uvilla as they colloquially call it in their country of origin, Ecuador.
The uvilla (Physalis peruviana l.) is a plant belonging to the Solanaceae family and its fruits grow and ripen inside its calyx. Its origin is unclear, but it is believed 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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Mainly, we find it in the tropical zone of America, in the Antilles and in 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. In 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 from 90 to 100 species (D`Arcy, 1991; Martínez, 1998) and one of the edibles today is Physalis peruviana, also known as guchuba, uchuva, uvilla, cape currant or Andean cherry. .
It is considered a “functional food” because according to Harman (2004) it has immunostimulating, anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral and diuretic characteristics. 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 are working intensively on fermentations. Therefore, the first development was to ferment uvillas for further analysis through surveys carried out on a total of 100 people, both professionals in the gastronomic sector and real consumers. The tastings have been 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 are inspired by a Japanese technique and custom of lactically fermenting fruit, such as the well-known “umeboshi”. The word “ume” or Japanese apricot is actually a plum (prunnus mume, armeniaca mume) being the literal translation “prune”. Umeboshi is traditionally used to make liqueur macerated from umeshu with umeboshi.
In the case of 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 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 significantly, on top of a bowl of rice (hinomau bento, referring to the Japanese flag). (Hosking, R., 2001)
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 promoting it as a new Andean product marketable throughout the world.
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It is called the cellular process where glucose is used for 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 beers. , as well as vegetables and fruits like sauerkraut, kimchi or umeboshi.
Lactic fermentation takes place in three stages; Initially, anaerobic bacteria such as Klebsiella and Enterobacter act more strongly in the 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. they take over In the third phase, various Lactobacillus 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, so lactic fermentations have always been related to percentages of salt, we always talk about a minimum of 2% – 3% of salt in relation to to the total weight of what will 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 can be found on the market from 4%.
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Traditionally, for this type of fermentation, glass or wooden flasks are used, always taking care that the product is completely covered with liquid to prevent the product from coming into direct contact with oxygen, but it has aerobic fermentation, which is why 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 since ranges of salt were accepted in fermented products and previous tests. All were made in a vacuum bag with 85% vacuum.
Fermentation was carried out in a refrigerator at 4ºC for 2 months, as in tests with other products, the cold fermentation gave better results from an organoleptic point of view, improving the taste and smell.
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Tests performed with higher amounts of salt are too salty for us and much of the specific physalis flavor is hidden behind the intensity of the salt. The tests with the lowest amount of salt had better acceptance. Even so, the first tests can be done after immersion and desalination of the product, insisting that part of its flavor and aroma is lost in this immersion.
We could say that fermented uvilla can be used in the same way as “umeboshi” due to its very similar acidity and salinity characteristics, as part of a garnish, sauces, etc., or as a 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 as any fermented sauce, enhancing any preparation such as sauces, broths, sauces, marinades, etc.
After several months of developing the fermented products and different organoleptic and consumption tests, we saw that the most accepted was 3% salt, with 80% acceptance in a product acceptance test carried out on 100 people, other percentages of salt such as 6% and 8% if they were accepted in smaller quantities, with 12% being the least accepted.
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This opens up great possibilities in different dairy fermented fruits, we have already tried different fruits and vegetables looking for other uses for lactic fermentation, in these cases with great nutritional and gastronomic results for use in restaurants and on a daily basis.
– CAIXAS DE ALVARES, GILBERTO; CAMPOVERDE VIVANCO, GENNY; ESPINOSA MEJIA, MARCO; Technical manual for the cultivation of uvilla (Physalis peruviana L.) in Loja. Store, Ecuador, 2012.
– FISHER, GERARD; MARTINEZ, ORLANDO. Quality and maturity of Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.) in relation to fruit color. National University of Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá. 1999
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– FISHER, GERARD; MIRANDA, DIEGO; WILSON PIEDRAHITA, JORGE ROMERO. Advances 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.
– JUNTAMAY TENEZACA, ELVIA ROCIO. Nutritional evaluation of cape currant (Physalis peruviana L.) dehydrated at three temperatures in a tray dehydrator. Riobamba, Ecuador, 2010.
– MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES, GENERAL COORDINATION OF THE NATIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEM; RESEARCH DIRECTORATE AND MULTISECTOR DATA GENERATION (DIGDM). Economic agroecological zoning of uvilla (Physalis peruviana L.) cultivation in mainland Ecuador. Quito, Ecuador, 2014.
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– MINISTRY OF FOREIGN TRADE, DIRECTORATE OF COMMERCIAL INTELLIGENCE AND INVESTMENTS. Monthly Foreign Trade Bulletin Page 16. 2013.
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