It’s amazing that the three types of microorganisms that preserve food during the fermentation process can also cause spoilage. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to keep food from spoiling by knowing which temperature and processing methods to use.
Food spoilage can cause illnesses that can keep you down for awhile, so it’s important to know how the spoiling microorganisms work to avoid the situation. Almost any type of food can be fermented and preserved with no danger whatsoever of developing an illness because of spoilage.
Yeasts come in two types – true and false. The true yeast found in the fermentation process helps to metabolize the sugar and produce gases (carbon dioxide) and alcohol. False yeast occur in foods that contain high acid or sugar levels and grow on a food’s surface rather than within as in the fermenting process.
Bacteria’s worst type of food spoilage is food poisoning. There are spore and non-spore bacteria that grow in low-acid foods such as meat and some vegetables. This type of bacteria can be destroyed by heat and processing for a certain length of time. Pressure cookers are often used to destroy bacteria at high temperature.
Molds are especially harmful to humans if the person has an allergic reaction to them. When someone eats a moldy food, it usually causes stomach discomfort and diarrhea and vomiting. Molds can grow in highly acidic foods, just like yeasts, but can be destroyed by subjecting the foods to high temperatures.
If fresh (uncooked) foods aren’t fermented or cooked, they can produce enzymes that can cause illnesses. One of the reasons why it’s important to pack foods you want to ferment so tightly is that oxidation may occur causing the food to change colors or become rancid.
Protecting fermenting foods from spoiling involves using starter cultures, limiting oxidation and using salt or brine for packing the foods. Sometimes an acidic fruit juice is used to protect the food such as a bit of lemon juice.
The main object of protecting the fermentation process is to get the fermenting process going before the spoilers have a chance to become established in the food. After that is accomplished, the spoilers lose their foothold.
Find out more about preserving foods by fermentation by searching online and taking advantage of books and reports that have been written about the process. Cookbooks for fermenting are also available if you want to try your hand at it.
To get you started, here is a book you can read on your Kindle for FREE. Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones and tablets. The boook to download and read is: Fermented Foods: How to Ferment Vegetables [Kindle Edition].
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