Fermentation is a method used in food production that is as old as human civilization. Involving the use of microorganisms (yeast, bacteria, or mold) to change the properties of food, it has brought the world alcoholic beverages and delicious foods like bread, yogurt, cheese, pickles, and much more.
Fermentation has some interesting effects, which have made it a popular method of extending the lifespan of foods and of making interesting alterations to their flavours.
Curious about what food fermentation has to offer? Here’s what students who want to work in quality control for food need to know.
Fermentation Is a Natural Process That Preserves Food From Spoiling
One of the main goals with food processing is to make foods more resistant to contamination, thereby keeping foods nutritious and safe for a longer period of time.
With fermentation, food or liquid products are exposed to special microorganisms that consume some of the product’s sugar and produce either acid or alcohol. These can help protect the food from other kinds of microorganisms, and keep it safe to eat. Perhaps best of all, it’s very simple to do, often requiring just that food or beverage be exposed to particular microorganisms and left for a period of time at a particular warm temperature.
If you’re interested in the applications of fermentation for the preservation of food, consider enrolling in a food technology diploma program. A good program will expose you to many of the techniques used for food processing—including fermentation—and let you learn about the important protective effects it can have on the foods we eat.
Beyond Aiding in Food Quality Control, Fermentation Makes Foods Taste Delicious
One of the biggest reasons why many people love fermentation is because it adds interesting flavours to many kinds of foods, changing the experience of eating them into something completely different. For example, compare a fermented pickle, which is usually sour, to a regular cucumber, which doesn’t have an especially strong taste. With fermentation, you often introduce pleasant sour or umami (savoury or meaty) flavours to a food, at the expense of some of the sweetness. While the difference is not a favourite for everyone, it can lead to amazing results for those who do like it.
Recent years have seen a surge in interest for fermented foods, with products like kimchi (fermented cabbage and radish), tempeh (fermented sobybean cakes), kombucha (fermented tea), and more all becoming hot items in the grocery store. That means that in your future career in food quality control, it’s quite possible that you could be responsible for helping maintain a high level of safety for these and other kinds of popular fermented foods in a production or service capacity. If you do, having completed a high quality training program will ensure that you have the skills in sanitation and quality control necessary for delivering safe and delicious products requiring fermentation.
Do you want to take food quality control training courses?
Contact AAPS to learn more about getting started!