Fermented fish and fermented fish-based products are part of the diet of many countries all over the world. Their popularity is not only due to the unique flavor, the distinct texture, and the good nutritional quality, but also to the easiness of the production process, that is commonly based on empirical traditional methods. Fish fermentation techniques ususally rely on the combination of some key steps, including salting, addition of spices or additives, and maintenance of anaerobic conditions, thus selecting for the multiplication of some protechnological microorganisms. The objective of the present review was to provide an overview of the current knowledge of the microbial communities occurring in fermented fish and fish-based products. Specific information was collected from scientific publications published from 2000 to 2022 with the aim of generating a comprehensive database. The production of fermented fish and fish-based foods was mostly localized in West African countries, Northern European countries, and Southeast Asian countries. Based on the available literature, the microbial composition of fermented fish and fish-based products was delineated by using viable counting combined with identification of isolates, and culture-independent techniques. The data obtained from viable counting highlighted the occurrence of microbial groups usually associated with food fermentation, namely lactic acid bacteria, staphylococci, Bacillus spp., and yeasts. The identification of isolates combined with cultureindependent methods showed that the fermentative process of fish-based products was generally guided by lactobacilli (Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, Latilactobacillus sakei, and Latilactobacillus curvatus) or Tetragenococcus spp. depending on the salt concentration. Among lactic acid bacteria populations, Lactococcus spp., Pediococcus spp., Leuconostoc spp., Weissella spp., Enterococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., and Vagococcus spp. were frequently identified. Staphylococcus spp. and Bacillus spp. confirmed a great adaptation to fermented fish-based products. Other noteworthy bacterial taxa included Micrococcus spp., Pseudomonas spp., Psychrobacter spp., Halanaerobium spp., and Halomonas spp. Among human pathogenic bacteria, the occurrence of Clostridium spp. and Vibrio spp. was documented. As for yeast populations, the predominance of Candida spp., Debaryomyces spp., and Saccharomyces spp. was evidenced. The present literature review could serve as comprehensive database for the scientific community, and as a reference for the food industry in order to formulate tailored starter or adjunctive cultures for product improvement.
Fermented fish and fermented fish-based products, an ever-growing source of microbial diversity: a literature review / Belleggia, Luca; Osimani, Andrea. - In: FOOD RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0963-9969. - ELETTRONICO. - 113112:(2023), pp. 1-52. [10.1016/j.foodres.2023.113112]