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Nutrition tip: Fermentation
01.6.2017
Nutrition tip: Fermentation
One of the oldest forms of preservation has been newly discovered: fermentation. Bread, cheese, coffee and wine have always been used in crafts and industry, as well as sauerkraut and other vegetable varieties, which are preserved in their jars in a natural way, preserving their typical flavor. (Photo: ©backaldrin)

In biotechnology, fermentation refers to the conversion of biological raw materials by means of bacterial, fungal or cell cultures, or else by the addition of enzymes (ferments). As already described by Louis Pasteur, this reaction takes place with the exclusion of air.

Spontaneous fermentation or pure culture leaven


During spontaneous fermentation (natural fermentation), the microorganisms required are partly naturally present in the starting materials and can thus cause a spontaneous fermentation.

Pure breeding yeasts are yeast strains that have been bred and optimized for a specific area of application. They consist exclusively of a certain yeast strain and are free from molds, bacteria or other yeasts.

Possibilities of fermentation


Lactic acid fermentation:
In the course of the fermentation process, carbohydrates are converted into lactic acid and carbon dioxide by means of bacteria. The lactic acid fermentation is used to preserve vegetables such as sauerkraut, sour pickles or olives and also plays an important role in the production of cheese, yoghurt and kefir. It is also used as a starter culture in the production of sour dough bread and raw sausages.

Vinegar fermentation:
Basically, two types of vinegar are distinguished: fermentation and acidic. Fermentation is only a fermented product. The sugar is fermented alcoholically by means of yeast from a sugar or starch-rich starting product, and the alcohol is oxidized to acetic acid in the second step. The preparation is carried out by means of a "vinegar nut", a skin of acetic acid bacteria, which floats on the surface of the liquid. The bacteria are in contact with oxygen and convert the alcohol in vinegar. Acidic acid, on the other hand, is a mixture of dilute acetic acid and drinking water.

Alcoholic fermentation:
In the case of alcoholic fermentation, yeast cells – very small fungi that can only be detected under a microscope - transform glucose into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Mixed fermentation:
Various microorganisms are involved in this type of fermentation. In the case of leaven, yeasts and leaven are bacteria and, in the case of cocoa, besides yeasts and lactic acid bacteria, also acetic acid bacteria.

How can you make your vegetables last longer by fermentation?


Chopped, salted and flavored vegetables are first mixed so that a juice, the so-called lake, is formed. Now the vegetables are layered into a suitable jar, tightly pressed against each other, closed air-tight and stored for about 1 week in a place with a temperature of 15 to 22 degrees Celsius. During storage the fermentation process starts and the taste develops. The "ready-to-eat" vegetables are bottled and kept for storage in screw-top or preserving jars. Sauerkraut was produced according to the same principle and is still partly practiced today.

Conclusion

Fermentation is a simple and natural form of preservation and allows for additional creative space to create taste experiences.

If you would like to get a closer look at fermentation, we recommend the following website:
www.eolss.net/Sample-Chapters
encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Fermentation

If you have any questions, wishes, suggestions or tips, please contact the Kornspitz® team. Write an email to marketing@kornspitz.com.

Mag. Gerda Reimann-Dorninger
Nutritional scientist

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