Characterization and correlation of microbial communities and metabolite and volatile compounds in doenjang fermentation
Food Res Int. 2021 Oct;148:110645. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2021.110645. Epub 2021 Aug 11.
To investigate the general fermentation features of doenjang, a traditional Korean fermented soybean paste, eleven batches of doenjang were prepared. The bacterial and fungal communities and the metabolites such as free sugars, organic acids, amino acids, and volatile compounds were analyzed during fermentation. Tetragenococcus, Aspergillus, and Debaryomyces were the most common microbes; galactose, fructose, and glucose were the major sugars; and lactate and acetate were the major organic acids. Spearman correlation analyses showed that the quantity of meju was correlated with only Pediococcus and Halomonas abundance, while solar salt concentration was correlated with the relative abundance of many microbial taxa and the amount of glycerol and total volatile compounds. The abundance of heterolactic acid bacteria, such as Tetragenococcus, Pediococcus, Weissella, and Enterococcus, was positively correlated with the levels of lactate, acetate, and ethanol, suggesting that heterolactic acid fermentation may be a major metabolism pathway during the fermentation of doenjang. The abundance of Weissella, Hyphopichia, and Wickerhamomyces was positively correlated with ethyl acetate levels, whereas the abundance of Staphylococcus and Bacillus was positively correlated with the concentration of major volatile compounds, 3-methylbutanoic acid and tetramethylpyrazine, respectively, suggesting that they may play important roles in the production of flavor compounds during fermentation.