I’ve combed the interwebs to come up with some interesting links relating to the scientific and biological processes involved in fermentation. In researching these links, I aimed to steer clear of any articles which make specific health claims. Just the facts.
1. Fermented Fruits and Vegetables: A Global Perspective. A comprehensive handbook published by the UN on the tradition of fermented foods around the world and how each fermented food is processed. Well indexed. Breaks down foods into categories by yeast ferments, bacterial ferments, and mixed ferments. Nerdiness Score:
2. Taxonomy of Lactic Acid Bacteria- Lactic acid bacteria is the family responsible for vegetable fermentation. This page categorizes the different genera and species of these beneficial bacteria. Nerdiness Score:
3. Laboratory Exercise in Sauerkraut Fermentation. The title pretty much says it all. A university bacteriologist makes sauerkraut in the lab and shares the results, including bacterial counts. Some interesting info, such as the progression of various bacterial families as the brine acidifies (Coliform → Leuconostoc → Lactobacillus). Nerdiness Score:
4. Ecological Role of Lactobacilli in the Gastrointestinal Tract: Implications for Fundamental and Biomedical Research. Interesting study which casts doubt that the lactobacilli species that we ingest through fermented food are the same as the autochthonous (true residential) species. There are over 10,000 species of bacteria in our gut alone, which we are only starting to categorize! Nerdiness Score:
5. Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome. (Abstract only, must purchase entire article.) Exciting new research which indicates that humans have one of three distinct microbial ecosystems, each dominated by a particular group of bacteria. A NY Times article about the study can be found here. Nerdiness Score: ?
7. Probiotic bacteria in fermented foods: product characteristics and starter organisms. Written as a primer for the food industry (e.g. references to shelf life and consumer attitudes towards probiotics), it nonetheless contains some interesting information on how many fermented dairy products are made. Lots of tables and figures. Nerdiness Score:
8. What is gut microbiota? A nice introduction and fun facts about our internal ecosystem. Created by Gut Microbiota Worldwatch, a Public information service from European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. Nerdiness Score: (just for the name of the group!)
9. Lactic and Mixed-Acid Fermentation. Speaks to the biochemcial differences between lactic-acid fermentation (which makes vegetable ferments like sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles) and alcohol (or ethanol) fermentation, which makes beer and wine. Nerdiness Score: (get out your high school chemistry textbooks!)
Have you come across any interesting scientific links? Please share!