What is Fermentation Process and Its Benefits | Financial Buzz

What is Fermentation Process and Its Benefits

Fermenting foods has been around for a very long time. The French microbiologist Louis Pasteur first identified the fermenting process in the last century. During fermentation, carbohydrates, such as starch, are broken down into simpler compounds through anaerobic processes.

Fermentation produces alcohol, bread, yogurt, pickles, and vinegar from apple juice. Today, we will learn about fermentation and its advantages in our daily lives.

What is a Fermentation Process?

A fermentation process occurs when the activity of microorganisms desirably changes a food or beverage. In bio fermentation, energy is extracted from the microbes, namely yeasts, bacteria, and molds, in an anaerobic environment and used in multiple applications.

An excellent example of this would be the production of acidic dairy products or alcoholic beverages.

Ferment comes from “fervere,” which is Latin for boil. Zymology is the study of fermentation and its application and derives its name from the Greek for “the workings of fermentation.”

Types of Fermentation

There are mainly three types of fermentation explained below:

  • Lactic acid fermentation
  • Ethanol fermentation
  • Acetic acid fermentation

Lactic acid fermentation

Lactic acid plays an essential role in body chemistry during exercise and influences food consumption. Starches and sugars are broken down into lactic acid by bacteria and yeast strains during fermentation.

Many types of food require lactic acid to be preserved. The most famous examples are kimchi, yogurt, pickles, and sourdough bread.

Ethanol fermentation.

Ethanol fermentation is also known as alcohol fermentation. Starches and sugars are broken down into carbon dioxide and alcohol when yeasts break down the pyruvate molecules. The remaining substance is used to produce wine and beer.

Acetic Acid Fermentation

You can find a variety of sugars in grains and fruit. A sour flavor and smell develop when these sugars ferment, like vinegar and certain condiments. Kombucha and apple cider vinegar are two popular fermented products containing acetic acid.

Health Benefits of Fermentation

As fermented foods are rich in probiotics, they can help to maintain a healthy digestive system so that you can extract nutrients more efficiently from food. There are several ways in which they benefit human health.

Fermented food’s probiotics, enzymes, and lactic acid enhance vitamin and mineral absorption.

Furthermore, fermentation can neutralize phytic acid, a substance present in grains, nuts, and legumes that contribute to mineral deficiencies. Starch, proteins, and fats are less digestible when they contain phytic acid.

In fermented food, microorganisms or probiotics produce antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antitumor agents, which promote healthy gut flora.

You can reduce, if not eliminate, your sugar cravings by consuming fermented foods in your diet. By regulating your microbiome, fermented foods adjust your taste buds to a more bitter/sour flavor.

Industrial Application of Fermentation

Fermentation is widely used in large-scale manufacturing. Many essential items we eat and use daily at home are made using fermentation. Following are some famous examples:

1.    Alcoholic Beverage

Brewing industry professionals know how crucial fermentation is to brewing alcohol. Yeast enzymes ferment sugar to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. Grapes, rice, grain, and berries are fermented with yeast to make alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine.

2.    Fuel Production

The main product of fermentation is ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Gasohol is made from ethanol and used as a fuel source in the USA and Brazil. Gasoline emits less air pollution than diesel and is very environmentally friendly. 

3.    Treatment of Wastewater

Wastewater treatment involves the fermentation process. By fermenting wastewater, aerobic bacteria dissolve organic materials in activated sludge. The fermentation process transforms solid waste materials into carbon dioxide, water, and mineral salts.

4.    Medicine

The fermentation process is used to produce antibiotics and other valuable drugs. Some examples include Cephalosporin, Penicillin, and Streptomycin.

5.    Food Preservation

Food fermentation promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria that prevents food from spoiling.

The presence of alcohol and acid inhibits the growth of microorganisms, thereby preventing the deterioration of food.

Conclusion

Fermentation is an aging process that was mainly used in ancient times in wine and bread production. However, since the last century, it has been used in various applications after discovering the scientific reason behind the process.

After reading this piece of content, we hope you have gained valuable knowledge about the fermentation process, its application, and its benefits. 

 

Sources

https://www.pulseheadlines.com/what-is-fermentation-3-different-types-of-fermentation/75144/

https://sciencing.com/sodium-lauryl-sulfate-6320871.html

https://byjus.com/neet/types-of-fermentation/

https://www.microbialfacts.com/applications-of-fermentation/

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