Fermentation technology is a field which involves the use of microorganisms and enzymes for the production of compounds that have applications in the energy, material, pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries.
Food fermentation is a food processing technology that utilizes the growth and metabolic activity of microorganisms for the stabilization and transformation of food materials. Fermentation was primarily developed for the. stabilization of perishable agricultural produce. Fermented food products still make up a significant portion of the diet in developing countries and the Far East.
During food fermentation, the growth of spoilage and pathogenic organisms is inhibited by the metabolites generated by the fermenting organisms, thereby extending the shelf life of perishable produce.
Fermentation technology: Future of culinary innovation
Culinary innovation can play a critical role in changing the perceptions of urban consumers around the use and value of root, tuber and banana crops. Creating an enabling environment for value chain interventions means that the market can scale innovations, leading to sustained livelihood benefits for small-scale farmers.
Fermentation technology is giving chefs freedom to build more and more flavour, use it in their culinary skills and apply it in various sectors such as in pharmaceuticals, brewing, baking, and dairy industry. Besides, it gives us a health benefit as it benefits our digestive system through nutritious fermented foods.
Ancient civilizations developed fermentation primarily as a way of preserving perishable agricultural produce, the technology has evolved beyond preservation into a tool for creating desirable organoleptic profiles in foods and improving their palatability. Bread is a classic example for this case, where the primary function of dough fermentation is to create the characteristic structure, texture, and organoleptic profile of bread after the baking process.
Also, we are well aware of the amount of food getting wasted every year. Each year, billions of tons of food end up as landfill in the United States alone. At the same time, millions of people across the world are starving. While tackling food waste is complex, undertaking fermentation innovation provides one way to address the problem by recycling waste that's still nutritious back into the food chain.
Redzepi, co-owner of Noma, Copenhagen’s world-famous restaurant and four-time winner on Restaurant magazine’s list The World’s 50 Best Restaurants says that fermentation is like legos. The more ferments you have, the more flavours you can build. And this makes cooking everything much easier.
Different Types of Fermentation:
Lactic acid fermentation
Lactic acid fermentation is a metabolic process by which glucose or other six-carbon sugars are converted into cellular energy and the metabolite lactate, which is the lactic acid in solution.
The lactic acid fermentations are generally inexpensive, and often little or no heat is required in their preparation, making them fuel-efficient as well. Foods fermented with lactic acid play an important role in feeding the world's population on every continent.
Ethanol fermentation/alcohol fermentation
Alcohol fermentation is the anaerobic pathway carried out by yeasts in which simple sugars are converted to ethanol and carbon dioxide. It converts sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose into cellular energy, producing ethanol and carbon dioxide as by-products. The basis for the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer is ethanol fermentation. It is involved in several important transformations, stabilization, and conservation processes for sugar-rich substrates, such as fruit, and fruit and vegetable juices.
Acetic acid fermentation
It is a process of oxidation in which alcohol is converted into acetic acid by the agency of bacteria. They are important microorganisms in the food industry because of their ability to oxidize many types of sugars and alcohols to organic acids as end products during the fermentation process.
In acetic acid fermentation, starches and sugars from grains and fruit ferment into sour tasting vinegar and condiments. Examples include apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar, and kombucha.
Food fermentation serves five main purposes:
Enrich the diet through the development of a diversity of flavours, aromas, and textures in food substrates
Preserve substantial amounts of food through lactic acid, alcohol, acetic acid, and alkaline fermentations
Enrich food substrates with protein, essential amino acids, and vitamins
And reduce cooking time and the associated use of fuel
Also, read Reasons why is fermentation important to a human:
Read why Fermentation Is The Future Of Food:
Do share your views in the comment section.
We, at OpenGrowth, are continually looking for trending startups in the ecosystem.
If you want to know any further information about the startup ecosystem or have any mind-boggling ideas, do refer to the other blogs at OpenGrowth. If you have any suggestions, do let us know in the comment section below.