Fermentation can make foods healthier, tastier, safer, and more digestible
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
Another very lively session on Sunday was devoted to the wonderful world of food fermentation.
Kombucha and kefir are pretty new additions to many US supermarket shelves, but the technology underlying them is as old as we are (beer, yogurt, wine, cheese), 'wild fermentation' guru Sandor Ellix Kantz told delegates in a packed education session.
“Fermentation isn’t rocket science,” said Katz. "We’ve been doing it for 1,000s of years. All of the fermented foods and beverages we know are ancient and the people that pioneered them didn’t know anything about bacteria. Most people eat or drink the products of fermentation every single day. They are integral to our culinary traditions.”
What is fermentation? Said Katz: “The transformative action of micro-organisms and the enzymes they produce… Mostly this is a process of anaerobic digestion - where no oxygen is present - eg. yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, beer, wine, and bread. However, vinegar, kombucha, tempeh, molded cheeses, and other fermented foods do require oxygen.”
What are probiotics? Live bacteria that when consumed in efficacious amounts, delivera benefit to the host (eg. ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria).But not all fermented foods contain live micro-organisms.