Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Focus on Fermented Foods

Focus on Fermented Foods

The list of fermented food in our lives is staggering: bread, coffee, pickles, beer, cheese, yogurt and soy sauce. are all transformed at some point during their production process by microscopic organisms that extend their usefulness and enhance their flavors.

The process of fermenting our food isn't a new one. Fermentation is one of the oldest forms of food preservation technologies in the world. Indigenous fermented foods such as bread, cheese and wine, have been prepared and consumed for thousands of years and are strongly linked to culture and tradition, especially in rural households and village communities.

Fermented foods are those produced or preserved by microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria, which occur naturally in the environment or may be introduced to foods to hasten fermentation. Fermentation describes the conversion of natural sugars found in foods into acids, gases or alcohol, using yeast, but is also used to make foods such as pickles and yogurt through the use of bacteria. For example juice turns into wine and grain into beer.

There is a growing interest in fermented foods due to health benefits. Eating fermented foods introduces beneficial bacteria call probiotics into the gut, which helps maintain a healthy balance of bacteria. Probiotics may lead to improved digestive health, and immune function. A healthy gut is more receptive to the absorption of food nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

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