For those users who are interested in the scientific basis of food science and food safety as a background to food processing there is a lot of useful and interesting information available online at no cost. In this series I will identify information and sources.
This review of fermented foods is of particular interest to Africans as many of our traditional foods are fermented. The review by Dr K.H. Steinkraus, PhD.
(click image for full story online)
The introduction to the review reveals the scope
Fermented foods are food substrates that are invaded or overgrown by edible microorganisms whose enzymes, particularly amylases, proteases, lipases hydrolyze the polysaccharides, proteins and lipids to nontoxic products with flavors, aromas and textures pleasant and attractive to the human consumer. If the products of enzyme activities have unpleasant odors or undesirable, unattractive flavors or the products are toxic or disease producing, the foods are described as spoiled.
Fermentation plays at least five roles in food processing:
(1) Enrichment of the human dietary through development of a
wide diversity of flavors, aromas and textures in food;
(2) Preservation of substantial amounts of food through lactic
acid, alcoholic, acetic acid, alkaline fermentations and high salt
(3) Enrichment of food substrates biologically with vitamins,
protein, essential amino acids and essential fatty acids;
(4) Detoxification during food fermentation processing and
(5) a decrease in cooking times and fuel requirements.
The review covers
- classification of fermentation types
- the evolution of fermentation based processes
- the safety of products produced by fermentation processes
- a description of fermentation processes
- nutritional aspects of fermented foods
- enrichment of food through fermentation