The Fermentation Process.
But what is fermentation? Simply put fermentation is the term used to describe how microbes consume or eat sugars to produce energy. As microbes consume sugar producing energy to drive their growth, they also produce a number of by-products such as organic acids and carbon dioxide that create the tangy flavor in yogurt or the refreshing effervescence in buttermilk. Whether that sugar comes from glucose (non-dairy), whey powder (dairy), or other sources, the fermentation process is similar. By controlling the temperature, time and other variables, we can harness and control the power of fermentation to convert sugars into fermented food ingredients. These fermented or “cultured” ingredients contain organic acids, proteins and other metabolites, which were produced while the microbes consumed sugar in order to grow. It’s these by-products that are produced during fermentation that provide the flavors and aid in maintaining the quality of foods.