Background: Spontaneous fermentations have several disadvantages, and additions of lactic
acid bacteria can improve sauerkraut fermentations and quality. Salt and sugar concentrations are
important factors in sauerkraut fermentations, and the growth and activity of lactic acid bacteria can
affect antioxidant activity of sauerkrauts.
Objective: This study developed sauerkrauts with the addition of Lactobacillus casei and investigated
how salt and sugar concentrations affected their fermentation and antioxidant activity.
Methods: A fresh cabbage was washed and cut, before salt (1.0%; 1.5% and 2.0%) and sugar (0%
and 2.0%) were added, prior to inoculation with a L. casei culture at 10% (v/w). The cabbage was
then incubated at 28oC for 5 days. The controlled lactic fermentation of the cabbage without culture
and sugar, but with salt at 2.5% was performed. The sauerkrauts were evaluated for total lactic acid
bacteria, pH, total acidity, phenolic content and DPPH scavenging activity.
Results: The fermentation increased the total lactic acid bacteria counts in the sauerkrauts from
1.38 x 109 to 3.86 x 109 cfu/mL, and this demonstrated significant (p<0.05) direct salt and sugar
effects. The high salt and sugar concentrations also increased the total acidity, antioxidant activity
and phenolic content, but lowered the pH of the sauerkrauts. The additives (L. casei culture, salt and
sugar), therefore, improved the sauerkraut fermentation and antioxidant activity compared to the control.
Conclusion: With added sugar and salt, L. casei improved the sauerkraut fermentation and antioxidant
activity, and both sugar and salt can each be added at a low (2%) concentration for maximum