GWANGJU, Dec. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — The World Institute of Kimchi has developed a starter culture system that can improve the taste and quality of kimchi and shared it with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for free.
The institute said Wednesday it supplied the starter to 23 kimchi-making SMEs under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The starter refers to a high-quality lactic acid bacillus that plays a key role in the fermentation of kimchi, while helping improve and maintain the taste of the final product.
The institute developed 27 different types of kimchi starters after collecting about 35,000 lactic acid probiotics from various types of kimchi across the country starting in 2013.
In particular, the institute succeeded in developing a method for mass-production of the starter. This method can increase the quantity of mannitol, an ingredient that strengthens the refreshing taste of kimchi, by 10 to 50 percent.
Most kimchi-making SMEs have relied on natural fermentation methods since it is difficult for them to secure starters due to the high purchase cost of kimchi strains and a shortage of professional staff.
In the meantime, the nation’s kimchi exports amounted to US$119 million this year, up 36.4 percent from a year ago thanks to the growing interest in Korean-made kimchi amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)