In the present study, naturally fermented and unpasteurized cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) collected from 4 producers located in different regions of Poland were studied. The fermented cucumbers were characterized by significant nutritional features in terms of polyphenols content and antioxidant activity. Microbiological analyses revealed active bacterial populations of lactococci, thermophilic cocci, lactobacilli, and coagulase-negative cocci. The microbiological characterization of cucumber and brine samples through metataxonomic analysis allowed the dominant species to be detected, being Lactococcus and Streptococcus in cucumbers, and Lactiplantibacillus, Leuconostoc, Pediococcus, Secundilactobacillus, and Lentilactobacillus in brine. The isolation activity offered a clear picture of the main active lactic acid bacteria at the end of fermentation, being Pediococcus parvulus and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum group. All the studied isolates showed a good attitude in fermenting a cucumber-based broth, thus suggesting their potential application as starter or adjunct cultures for guided cucumber fermentation. Moreover, for the same...

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