About the book
Fermentation is a process by which carbohydrates are converted to alcohol or organic acids under anaerobiosis using microorganisms (bacteria or yeasts) Fermented foods comprise very diverse food products and beverages with a long history of worldwide importance for human nutrition, health, and economy.
The main groups of fermented foods include: cereals (bread and sake); vegetables, fruits, and legumes (table olives, pickles, and vinegar); milk (cheese, yogurt, and kefir); meat and meat products (ham and sausages); fish products (anchovies and herring); and alcoholic beverages (wine and beer).
A huge diversity of indigenous microorganisms, mostly bacteria and yeasts, is associated with this enormous variety of fermented foods. They differ not only in the used raw materials, and corresponding final products, but also in their distinct fermentative behaviour.
The microbial safety of these fermented food products is, however, threatened by the potential presence of foodborne pathogens. These may be harmful per se, but also due to the toxins and other secondary metabolites they release, such as mycotoxins or biogenic amines.
To assure quality and safety of fermented foods, different approaches are needed to successfully control the indigenous microbiota and conduct fermentations, e.g. using starter cultures, but also to effectively implement innovative preservation methodologies.