U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, SEA, Food Science Research Unit, 322 Schaub Hall, Box 7624, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7624, USA; North Carolina State University, Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
Bioactive peptides have been identified in lactic acid bacteria fermented foods including cultured milk, sourdough, and cured meats; however, their presence has not been investigated in fermented vegetables. In this study, infrared, matrix-assisted laser desorption electrospray ionization (IR-MALDESI) mass spectrometry (MS) was employed to identify bioactive peptides in fermented cucumber. Natural and starter culture fermented cucumbers were prepared in triplicate in sodium chloride brines and compared to acidified cucumbers. Putative matches of known food-derived bioactive peptides were identified by direct analysis using IR-MALDESI-MS. Peptides were confirmed by IR-MALDESI MS/MS and quantified by LC-MS/MS. Three angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides, IPP (0.42-0.49 mg/kg), LPP (0.30-0.33 mg/kg), and VPP (0.32-0.35 mg/kg) were formed in fermented cucumbers. A fourth ACE inhibitory peptide, KP (0.93-1.5 mg/kg), was enhanced 3-5 fold in fermented cucumbers compared with acidified cucumbers. This work demonstrates that lactic acid bacteria fermentation can enhance bioactive peptide content in vegetables.