Module 3, Unit 4, Level: Advanced
Types and uses
Fermentation, vinegar, salt, sugar, acid, glucose, microorganisms, probiotics, preservation technique
Fermentation is an anaerobic biochemical process that occurs due to the growth of microorganisms in food, which, when competing for nutrients, originate a set of enzymatic chemical reactions to obtain energy through the cell. Glucose is one of the substances most used to start the fermentation process.
Fermentation increases the shelf life of the food, taking advantage of its seasonality, and making it ready for consumption throughout the year. The organoleptic properties of the food also change, with its flavor becoming more intense and textured.
This conservation technique has health advantages. It can, for example, facilitate digestion and increase the bioavailability of certain minerals and vitamins, regulating the intestinal microbiota due to its probiotic effect. However, certain fermented foods, such as bread, or those that require the addition of citric acid, should be consumed with moderation.
Home fermentation is an ally of sustainability, namely by combating food waste, helping to prepare meals with products that can be preserved for several weeks, and which otherwise could deteriorate.
Bread, vinegar, soy (tofu).
Dairy products: fermented milk (by natural acidification of milk), yogurt, kefir, cheese.
Vegetables/pickles (onion, garlic, cauliflower, cucumber, carrot, beetroot, cabbage, olives).
Wine, kombucha, beer.
Always use sanitized containers and products in good condition to avoid cross contamination.
Do not use antibacterial products to clean food and containers for fermentation purposes.
Depending on the type of fermentation, it may be necessary to keep it refrigerated from the start (e.g., yogurt, fresh cheese). When using sterilized jars, we can keep the fermented food out of the fridge until the first opening.
Fermented vegetables should have a crunchy consistency and a vinegar taste.
Reject fermented foods that have an unpleasant smell or taste, sticky consistency, mold on the surface, or when the packaging presents and irregular or stuffed shape.
Certain fermented foods call for moderate consumption, such as bread and those that need the addition of citric acid.