What is Fermentation?

Even if Humanity was used to fermentation since its early dawn, scientists are still working on a general understanding. Pasteur did a giant leap by discovering microbes or yeasts and we know by instinct how to separate fermented and rotten food. Yes, we have evolved to taste fermented preparations as delicious and our ancestors started from spontaneous fermented drinks like mead or gruut before quickly mastering beer or bread productions. The word “fermentation” comes from the Latin “fervere”, meaning “boiling” as Romans did not understood why fermented grapes were making bubbles before turning into wine. But how could we define fermentation?

  1. Fermentation is the transformation of food by microorganisms (bacterias / yeasts / molds) through enzymes
  2. Fermentation is the process by which a microorganism converts sugar into another substance (gaz / organic acids / alcohols) in the absence of oxygen

To use a nice picture from The Noma Guide to Fermentation (2018): fermentation is like a wild and crazy party. All bacterias, yeasts and molds gather together or by group and create something funky and unique. You, or us, act like bouncers and stop bad elements before they enter the party. We can control how the party/fermentation will evolve by selecting who enters the gig. Simple as that? Well, check our other articles and workshops to learn more!