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Fermented foods and beverages

Published: September 27, 2019

Cheese is a fermented food
Cheese is a fermented food

Historically, fermented foods have been staples of the human diet for centuries, integral to many cultures, and a traditional method of preserving food.

Fermentation produces a variety of organic acids, ethanol, and bacteriocins which inhibit or kill food borne pathogens thereby increasing food safety and shelf life.
Potentially, there are thousands of different types of fermented foods and beverages due to the diversity of food-microbe combinations.
Small changes in microbe combinations create changes in flavour, aroma, and texture.
Fermented foods and beverages are also thought to improve protein and carbohydrate digestibility and the bioavailability of essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids.
In recent years interest in fermented foods has increased mostly due to the raft of health benefits these foods and beverages are purported to promote.
However, it is not clear whether traditional fermented foods and beverages are associated with health benefits.
Although the health benefit status of fermented foods and beverages has not yet been scientifically determined fermented foods and beverages are now mass produced and marketed on the basis of their purported health benefits.
Animal studies using traditionally fermented foods suggest health benefits, but it does not necessarily follow that 1) the same fermented foods will have the same health benefit on humans, or 2) mass produced fermented food products will confer the same health benefits on humans.
There is also some confusion in the media between identified health benefits of probiotics and purported health benefits of fermented foods and beverages.
While fermented foods and beverages may contain probiotic microbes this does not automatically confer identified health benefits of probiotics on fermented foods and beverages.
What do you know about fermented foods and beverages? What are the health benefits (if any) associated with consuming them? Are they safe to consume?
Fermented foods and beverages
Suitable ingredients for fermentation include meat, poultry, fish, grains, soybeans, legumes, milk, vegetables, fruit, and tea leaves...link to the full article to learn more.

Related Topics

Health  Food Choices  Nutrients  Phytochemicals