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Can you explain Fermentation?

What occurs during the Fermentation process?

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Foods that are Commonly Fermented

Fermentation has been used for thousands of years by our ancestors who seek to produce different varieties of food and liquor. Fermentation is often used in making wines and beer, but fermentation can be used for other types of food.

The process of fermentation started as early as 7,000 BCE in the Middle East and it was often used in milk and vegetables. China soon adapted the process of fermentation and more types of food were being fermented, giving different results as well as different food that we have today. The process of fermentation includes converting carbohydrates into alcohol or acetic acid. The change of the chemical composition of food changes the taste and texture of the food. Fermentation can occur naturally with the right environment or by adding yeast and other bacteria.

Fruits are fermented and are usually turned into a drink. Oftentimes, fruits are fermented with yeast mixtures and with the right temperature, the fruit juices will turn into alcohol. That is how wines are made. The grapes are crushed so that its juice will be released. The fermentation process will take weeks for it to finish and oftentimes aged or bottled for years. To complete the process, yeast is often included in fermenting the grapes.
Other types of fruits and vegetables can be fermented for the purpose of prolonging the shelf life of the food. Milk can also be fermented and oftentimes is turned into the common snack we have today which is yogurt. In making a yogurt, a cultured bacteria is added to ferment the milk. Same as with other food, fermentation process will occur under the right environment temperature. With the presence of the bacteria, lactose will be converted into lactic acid and into yogurt.

Beer is made from wheat and barley that are fermented. Sometimes, rye can be used. The process is much more complicated since the produce will be mashed before mixing it with hot water. Once fermentation starts to occur, yeast is added which turns the carbon dioxide into alcohol. After a couple of weeks, the beer can now be served.

There are still quite a number of food types that can be fermented. People have adapted this practice from the ancestors thousands of years ago. Because of fermentation, we are now able to enjoy the types of food we have today.

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