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Fermentation Process Development: How to Start a Fermentation Plant
Historically, fermentation has been one of the most practiced processes in the world. During the Neolithic times, human beings practiced a lot of fermentation-especially when it came to food. Since then, fermentation has played a key role when it comes to the production of alcohol as well as acetone. However, the advent of cheaper oils encouraged the use of chemical synthesis techniques. But the need to conserve the environment has rekindled the use of microbial fermentation techniques.
Understanding the Basics
Fermentation, which usually occurs in settings without oxygen, is actually an anaerobic process that utilizes beneficial microorganisms. Common microorganisms used in the fermentation process include yeast, bacteria, as well as mold. These microorganisms are used to break down sugars like starch into alcohol-based products and acids. This adds more nutrition value to food. Plus, fermentation makes food more durable.
So, if you have decided to invest in the food production industry, congratulations. However, you need to get it right when it comes to rolling out your project. Here are some tips and tricks to create quality products through fermentation.
Use High-Quality "Starter" Cultures
Microbes naturally exist in the air. To start fermenting any product, however, you'll need "starter" cultures, such as Yeast, or a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria). You may also want to utilize a liquid obtained from a previous ferment. These starter cultures contain large volumes of beneficial microorganisms. So, when you add them to food items or beverages, they'll multiply rapidly and initiate the fermentation process.
Keep All Equipment Clean
If you want high-quality ferment, keep all equipment spotlessly clean. This will prevent harmful substances from leaking onto your ferment. So, clean and sterilize everything in your kitchen or industrial plant.
Don't Expose To Air
If your ferment gets exposed to air, the fermentation process will also be disrupted. And this could lead to food spoilage or food poisoning.
To prevent this, consider submerging the fermenting food in a salt solution. This technique works perfectly for solid items like chopped vegetables. You can control the PH by adding some vinegar to the fermenting product.
To prevent air contamination, consider storing the fermented food or liquid in a sealable container. Storage containers often come with a valve that expels carbon dioxide gases produced during fermentation. When fermenting wine or kombucha, however, you might want to forgo the CO2 venting because such products usually benefit from carbonation.
Regulate the Temperature
The temperature has a direct impact on fermentation. Microbes typically thrive in warm environments. However, the perfect temperature will depend on the types of microbes you choose and the product you're fermenting. Keeping your ferment in a cold place, like the basement of the fridge or freezer will slow down the fermentation process or even halt it completely. Heating it, on the other hand, could kill essential microbes. So, always keep the temperatures moderate.
Why Take Fermented Foods Or Drinks?
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics. These organisms play a significant role in keeping the gut system healthy and ensuring that your body extracts essential nutrients from food more effectively.
In addition, probiotics boost the immune system since the gut releases antifungal, anti-tumor, antibiotic, and anti-viral substances. Plus, pathogens don't survive in the acidic environment that fermented foods create.
The industrial fermentation process development business can be rewarding. However, starting a fermentation business isn't that easy. But this doesn't have to scare you. Like the pros, you can do it. Use the above tips and tricks to start a successful fermentation business.