Fermentations may lead to significant changes to the health-promoting features to plant foods. The lactic acid fermentation is the most widespread. The axis ‘fermented plant foods — human health’ is easily conceivable because of the inherent chemical composition of raw plant matrices, and the metabolic and functional versatility of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) . Although vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of health promoting components, various anti-nutritional factors (e.g. oxalate, protease, condensed tannins, and phytic acid) are present. Such plant inherent reservoirs enable LAB and yeasts to follow various metabolic routes, which figure as a complex labyrinth where specific microbial enzymes for targeted substrates are involved . The winding metabolic pathways involve several secondary plant metabolites (e.g. phenolics, fatty acids) . The way out of the labyrinth coincides with the success of those paths, resulting in fermented plant foods enriched with high bio-accessible bioactive compounds and/or with weak amounts of antinutritional factors. However, as a newly discovered bacterial group, fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB) are gaining increasing interest . In fact, the wide frequency of isolation of FLAB from fructose-rich habitats (e.g., flowers, fruits, fermented foods, fructose feeding insects) has been deepened to reveal their ecological significance. The success of these plant-based fermentations is connected to the adaptive growth and survival of microorganisms. A panel of various interacting omics approaches unraveled the specific traits of microorganisms to adapt to plants, which allow the optimal design of fermentation strategies for targeted raw matrices.
References R. Di Cagno, P. Filannino, M. Gobbetti, in Novel Food Fermentation Technologies, K.S. Ojha, B.K Tiwari (Eds.), Springer International Publishing, 2016, p. 279.  P. Filannino, R. Di Cagno, M. Gobbetti. Curr. Opinion Biotechnol., 49 (2018) 64–72.  A.F. Sanchez-Maldonado, A. Schieber, M.G. Gänzle. J. Appl. Microbiol. 111 (2011) 1176-1184.  P. Filannino, R. Di Cagno, A.Z.A. Tlais, V. Cantatore, M. Gobbetti. Crit. Rev. Microbiol. 45 (2019) 65-81.
Raffaella Di Cagno
CV: Nata a Bari, Italia 1970. Laurea magistrale in Scienze Agrarie, Università degli Studi di Bari A. Moro (1995-1996) con votazione 110/110 con Lode; Dottorato di Ricerca in Biochimica Vegetale, “Scuola Superiore S. Anna”, Pisa (2000). Attività professionale: Assegnista di ricerca in microbiologia degli alimenti, Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo, delle Piante e degli Alimenti, Università degli Studi di Bari A. Moro (2000–2004); Ricercatore Universitario in Microbiologia Agraria presso la stessa Università (2004-2015), Professore associato presso la stessa Università (2015-2016); Professore associato, Libera Università di Bolzano (LUB) (2017-2021); Professore Ordinario, LUB (2021-ad oggi). Attività didattica: Professore di Microbiologia degli Alimenti, LUB; membro del Dottorato internazionale in Food, Engineering and Biotechnology LUB. Attività di ricerca: periodo di ricerca presso l’Institute Advanced Crop Research, Londra; supervisore delle attività di ricerca presso il Centre International De Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes; Membro e/o coordinatore di numerosi progetti nazionali e internazionali (Susfood, JPI, Horizon 2020). Bibliografia: 192 lavori peer-reviewed, H index 62, 10709 citazioni, 9 patenti, editore di un libro Springer. Inoltre: delegata della Società Italiana di Microbiologia Agroalimentare e Ambientale per la FEMS; 2021–ad oggi, membro del comitato scientifico Science Foundation Ireland VistaMilk-Teagasc Cork, Irlanda.
Raffaella Di Cagno
CV: Born in Bari, Italy 1970. She graduated in Agricultural Science, at University of Bari A. Moro, she is got good mark (110/110 lode) (1995-1996); PhD degree in Plant Biochemistry at “Scuola Superiore S. Anna” Pisa (2000). Working activity: post doc in food microbiology at the Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences, University of Bari (2000–2004); tenured researcher at the same University (2004-2015); tenured associate professor at the same university (2015-2016); tenured associate professor, LUB (2017-2021); full professor LUB (2021-to date). Teaching activity: Professor of Food Microbiology; member of the international Ph.D on Food Engineering and Biotechnology; Research work: research period at the Institute Advanced Crop Research, London; supervisor of research activities at the Centre International De Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes; Member and/or coordinator of several national and international projects (Susfood, JPI, Horizon 2020). Bibliography: 192 peer-reviewed papers, H index 62, 10709 citations, 9 patents, editor of a Springer book. Additionally: delegate of the Italian Society of Agro-Food and Environmental Microbiology for FEMS; member of the Evaluation Centre LUB; 2021-to date, member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Science Foundation Ireland, VistaMilk Teagasc, Cork, Ireland.