L1.3 Fermented Foods

Microorganisms need enough water to ferment foods

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Unformatted text preview: a moldy sleeve of Saltine crackers out of a box before? When was the last time you opened a Hershey bar only to find it covered in moldy fuzz? Ever encountered slimy beef jerky? Hopefully, your answer to all of these questions is NO. Under normal storage and packaging conditions, these products will not undergo fermentation because they are dry. Even though they contain macronutrients, they lack the secret ingredient for fermentation by microorganisms - - water. Microorganisms need enough water to ferment foods, otherwise nothing will happen. The products described above are all very low in water available for the microorganisms to use, so these products tend to last a very long time when stored at room temperature. Fermentation in Action Milk is a great source of nutrients like carbs, proteins, and fat. Microorganisms like bacteria love these nutrients. Plus, milk is a source of available water. Bacteria break down the carbs in the milk to form acid, which causes the milk to curdle. This is fermentation in action. This first fermentation is also known as primary fermentation After you drain the whey and press the curds, many times the primary fermentation is followed by a secondary fermentation of proteins and fats which further enhances the product’s sensory characteristics. The characteristic aroma and flavor of many cheeses results from this secondary fermentation What is a fermented food? If the change in the sensory properties of a food, due to the actions of microorganisms, is expected a...
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