Few words about fermentation
Fermented food has been eaten already for decades in many cultures. I was growing up with a lot fermented food around, including my favorite sauerkraut and pickles. I still picture my grandmother having jars of fermented food, yummy.
- The primary reason for fermenting food was to preserve it.
- Microorganisms govern the process of fermentation by breaking down carbohydrates to acids and/or alcohols.
- Thanks to these products, also called “natural preservatives”, food retains nutrients and preserves spoilage.
- In addition, fermentation makes food nutrients easier digestible as it breaks down complex nutrients to simpler forms. It is a sort of pre-digestion process.
“For example, soybeans are protein rich and mostly difficult to digest but through fermentation microorganisms break down proteins to amino acids making them easily digestible, popular fermented soya food is miso, tempeh, natto, or soy sauce.”
Also fermented dairy products contain bacteria that break down lactose, the milk sugar, to easier digestible lactic acid. Fermenting organisms in addition produce nutritious metabolites such as vitamins and active enzymes.