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White Round Pedestal Coffee Table – In a previous entry, we presented the Ecuador Chair together with a summary of all the research and development work of two Ecuadorian products, plantain (musa paradisiaca) and physalis (physalis peruviana l.). On this occasion we are going to present only one of the products which is the physalis or uvilla as they colloquially call it in their country of origin, Ecuador.

The uvilla (physalis peruviana l.) is a plant that belongs to the Solanaceae family and its fruit grows and ripens 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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We find it mainly 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, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, the 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 of “physaloides” includes 90 to 100 species (D`Arcy, 1991; Martínez, 1998) and one of the edible ones today is the physalis peruviana, also known as guchuba, uchuva, uvilla, Cape gooseberry or Andean cherry.

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It is a fruit that is considered a “functional food” as it has immuno-stimulating, anti-cancer, antibacterial, antiviral and diuretic properties according to Harman (2004). In addition, medicinal properties such as the purification of the blood, the reduction of albumin in the kidneys, the relief of throat problems, the strengthening of the optic nerve, the clearing of cataracts and the control of amebiasis are contributed to 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 intensively on fermentations. Therefore, the first development was to ferment uvillas for later analysis through surveys carried out on a total number 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 reaction regarding the acceptance of the fermented fruit.

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We were inspired by a Japanese technique and used to ferment fruit milks, such as the famous “umeboshi”. The word “ume” or Japanese apricot is really a plum (prunnus mume, armeniaca mume) being the literal translation “dried plum”. Umeboshi is traditionally used to make umeshu ground liquor with umeboshis.

In the case of umeboshi, it is a Japanese apricot that is grown in early summer when it begins to turn from green to yellowish and is preserved for several months through milk fermentation in salt. 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 eat it in Japan is in a cup of bacha tea, desalted 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 fermented physalis similar to a Japanese product called “umeboshi” of great gastronomic value, promote its use and distribute it as a new marketable Andean product around the world.

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It is called the cellular process where glucose is used to obtain energy, in which glucose is partially oxidized and where the waste product is lactic acid, which is 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 takes place in three phases; Initially, anaerobic bacteria such as Klebsiella and Enterobacter act more strongly in fermentation, producing a favorable acidic environment for the following 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 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 salty conditions, therefore lactic acid fermentations have always been related to percentages of salt, we are always talking about a minimum of 2% – 3% salt in relation to the total weight of what will be fermented. In this case, in addition to generating a selective environment for the lactic acid bacteria to live in, the salt extracts the water from the products by osmosis, which accelerates fermentation. In the case of “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 being in direct contact with oxygen, but it does have an aerobic fermentation, and therefore vacuum bags is currently used (which always leaves oxygen) to facilitate handling.

Different percentages of salt were tested: 2%, 3% and 6%, this range was chosen as it was accepted ranges of salt in fermented products and previous tests. All are 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 in this way, since in tests with other products, carrying out the cold fermentation gave better results from the organoleptic point of view, improving taste and smell.

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The tests performed with a higher amount of salt are too salty for us and much of the specific flavor of the physalis is hidden behind the intensity of the salt. The tests with less amount of salt had better acceptance. Even so, the first tests can be used after the product has been soaked and desalted, insisting that part of its flavor 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 the “umeboshi” due to its very similar acidity and salinity properties, as part of a garnish, sauces, etc., or as a simple snack. In this part, if we distinguish the fermented product from the fermentation liquid extracted from the uvilla, a transparent and salty liquid that can be used as any fermented sauce, that any preparation such as dressings, sauces, sauces, marinades, etc.

After several months of development of 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 test carried out on 100 people, another percentage of salt as 6% and 8% if they were accepted in less quantity, being the least accepted 12%.

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This opens up great possibilities for us in different milk-fermented fruits. We have 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 on a daily basis. base.

– 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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– VISSER, GERARD; MARTINEZ, ORLANDO. Quality and maturity of 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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– VISSER, 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 gooseberry (physalis peruviana L.) at three temperatures using a tray dehydrator. Riobamba, Ecuador, 2010.


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