- Fermentation (food)
food processingtypically refers to the conversion of sugarto alcoholusing yeastunder anaerobicconditions. A more general definition of fermentation is the chemical conversion of carbohydratesinto alcohols or acids. When fermentation stops prior to complete conversion of sugar to alcohol, a stuck fermentationis said to have occurred. The science of fermentation is known as zymology.
Fermentation usually implies that the action of the
microorganismsis desirable, and the process is used to produce alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, and cider. Fermentation is also employed in preservation to create lactic acidin sour foods such as pickled cucumbers, kimchiand yogurt.
Since fruits ferment naturally, fermentation precedes human history. Since prehistoric times, however, humans have been controlling the fermentation process. The earliest evidence of winemaking dates from eight thousand years ago, in Georgia, in the
Caucasusarea.cite web |url=http://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/000498.html |title=8,000-year-old wine unearthed in Georgia|accessdate=2007-01-28 |date=2003-12-28 |format= |work= |publisher=The Independent] Seven-thousand-year-old jars of wine have been excavated in the Zagros Mountainsin Iran, which are now on display at the University of Pennsylvania.cite web |url=http://www.museum.upenn.edu/new/research/Exp_Rese_Disc/NearEast/wine.shtml |title=Now on display . . . world's oldest known wine jar |accessdate=2007-01-28 |format= |work= ] There is strong evidence that people were fermenting beverages in Babyloncirca 5000 BC,cite web |url=http://www.fao.org/docrep/x0560e/x0560e05.htm |title=Fermented fruits and vegetables. A global perspective |accessdate=2007-01-28 |format= |work=FAO Agricultural Services Bulletins - 134] ancient Egyptcirca 3150 BC,cite journal |quotes= |last=Cavalieri |first=D |authorlink= |coauthors=McGovern PE, Hartl DL, Mortimer R, Polsinelli M. |year=2003 |month= |title=Evidence for S. cerevisiae fermentation in ancient wine. |journal=Journal of Molecular Evolution |volume=57 Suppl 1 |issue= |pages=S226–32 |id=15008419 |url=http://www.oeb.harvard.edu/hartl/lab/publications/pdfs/Cavalieri-03-JME.pdf |accessdate=2007-01-28|doi=10.1007/s00239-003-0031-2|format=Dead link|date=May 2008 ] pre-Hispanic Mexico circa 2000 BC, and Sudancirca 1500 BC.Dirar, H., (1993), The Indigenous Fermented Foods of the Sudan: A Study in African Food and Nutrition, CAB International, UK] There is also evidence of leavened bread in ancient Egyptcirca 1500 BCSugihara, T.F., (1985), Microbiology of Breadmaking, in "."Microbiology of Fermented Foods", edited by Wood, B.J.B., Elsevier Applied Science Publishers, UK] and of milk fermentation in Babylon circa 3000 BC. The Chinese were probably the first to develop vegetable fermentation.
Louis Pasteurwas the first known "zymologist", when in 1854 he connected yeast to fermentation. Pasteur originally defined fermentation as "respiration without air". Pasteur performed careful research and concluded;
Eduard Buchner, winner of the 1907 Nobel Prizein chemistry, later determined that fermentation was actually caused by a yeast secretion that he termed " zymase". [cite web| url=http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1929/press.html |title=The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1929|accessdate=2007-01-28]
The primary benefit of fermentation is the conversion of sugars and other
carbohydrates, e.g., converting juiceinto wine, grains into beer, carbohydrates into carbon dioxideto leaven bread, and sugars in vegetables into preservative organic acids.
Food fermentation has been said to serve five main purposes:Steinkraus, K. H., Ed. (1995). Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Foods. New York, Marcel Dekker, Inc.]
* enrichment of the diet through development of a diversity of flavors, aromas, and textures in food substrates.
* preservation of substantial amounts of food through lactic acid, alcohol, acetic acid and alkaline fermentations.
* biological enrichment of food substrates with protein, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and vitamins.
* detoxification during food-fermentation processing.
* a decrease in cooking times and fuel requirements.
Fermentation has some uses exclusive to foods. Fermentation can produce important
nutrientsor eliminate antinutrients. Food can be preserved by fermentation, since fermentation uses up food energy and can make conditions unsuitable for undesirable microorganisms. For example, in picklingthe acid produced by the dominant bacteria inhibit the growth of all other microorganisms. Depending on the type of fermentation, some products (e.g., fusel alcohol) can be harmful to people's health.
A "stuck fermentation" is where a fermentation has stopped before completion; i.e., before the anticipated percentage of sugars has been converted by yeast into alcohol or carbohydrates into carbon dioxide.
Typically, a stuck fermentation may be caused by:1) insufficient or incomplete nutrients required to allow the yeast to complete fermentation; 2) low temperatures, or temperature changes which have caused the yeast to stop working early; or 3) a percentage of alcohol which has grown too high for the particular yeast chosen for the fermentation.
Corrections to stuck fermentations may include: 1) repitching a different yeast 2) incorporation of nutrients in conjunction with the repitched yeast; 3) restoration of accommodative temperatures for the given yeast.
Fermented foods by region
alcohol, wine, vinegar, olives, yogurt, bread, cheese
** East and
Southeast Asia: amazake, asinan, bai-ming, belacan, burong mangga, com ruou, dalok, doenjang(된장), douchi, jeruk, lambanog, kimchi(김치), kombucha, leppet-so, narezushi, miang, miso, nata de coco, nata de pina, natto, naw-mai-dong, pak-siam-dong, paw-tsaynob in snow(雪裡蕻), prahok, ruou nep, sake, seokbakji, soy sauce, stinky tofu, szechwan cabbage(四川泡菜), tai-tan tsoi, chiraki, tape, tempeh, totkal kimchi, yen tsai(醃菜), zha cai(榨菜)
Central Asia: kumis(mare milk), kefir, shubat(camel milk)
India: achar, appam, dosa, dhokla, dahi(yogurt), gundruk, idli, mixed pickle
Africa: fermented millet porridge, garri, hibiscusseed, hot pepper sauce, injera, lamoun makbouss, laxoox, mauoloh, msir, mslalla, oilseed, ogi, ogili, ogiri
Americas: chicha, elderberry wine, kombucha, pickling(pickled vegetables), sauerkraut, lupinseed, oilseed, chocolate, vanilla, tabasco, tibicos
Middle East: kushuk, lamoun makbouss, mekhalel, torshi, boza
Europe: rakfisk, sauerkraut, ogórek kiszony, surströmming, mead, elderberry wine, salami, prosciutto, cultured milk products such as quark, kefir, filmjölk, crème fraîche, smetana, skyr.
Oceania: poi, kaanga pirau(rotten corn)
Fermented foods by type
cheonggukjang(청국장), doenjang(된장), miso(味噌(みそ)), natto(納豆(なっとう)）, soy sauce, stinky tofu(臭豆腐), tempeh
kimchi(김치), mixed pickle, sauerkraut
wine, vinegar, cider
cheese, kefir, kumis(mare milk), shubat(camel milk), cultured milk products such as quark, filmjölk, crème fraîche, smetana, skyr, yogurt
bagoong, fish sauce, Hákarl, jeotgal(젓갈), rakfisk, shrimp paste, surströmming, heshikoHidal
Risks of consuming fermented foods
Alaska, despite its small population, has witnessed a steady increase of cases of botulismsince 1985. It has more cases of botulism than anywhere else in the United States of America.cite web|url=http://www.phppo.cdc.gov/phtn/botulism/alaska/alaska.asp|title=Why does Alaska have more botulism?|accessdate=2007-01-28] This is caused by the traditional Eskimopractice of allowing animal products such as whole fish, fish heads, walrus, sea lionand whaleflippers, beavertails, seal oil, birds, etc., to ferment for an extended period of time before being consumed. The risk is exacerbated when a plastic container is used for this purpose instead of the old-fashioned method, a grass-lined hole, as the botulinum bacteria thrive in the anaerobic conditions created by the plastic.Fact|date=January 2008
* The 1811 "Household Cyclopedia"
* [http://members.ift.org/NR/rdonlyres/F5EBE3B9-F35D-4BFA-9FB8-2F0114866782/0/crfsfsv01n1p023027ms20001201.pdf Fermentations in world food processing (1st part, PDF file)]
* [http://members.ift.org/NR/rdonlyres/C650A4F0-39C8-4FC5-A034-A125FD44BCAE/0/crfsfsv01n1p028032ms20001201.pdf Fermentations in world food processing (2nd part, PDF file)]
* [http://www.scienceaid.co.uk/biology/microorganisms/fermentation.html Science aid: Fermentation - Process and uses of fermentation]
* [http://www.fao.org/docrep/x0560e/x0560e00.htm Fermented fruits and vegetables. A global perspective - FAO 1998]
* [http://www.fao.org/docrep/x2184e/x2184e00.htm Fermented cereals. A global perspective - FAO 1999]
* [http://www.washingtonwinemaker.com/blog/2007/09/11/restarting-a-stuck-fermentation/ Restarting a stuck fermentation]
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