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General / 18. October 2023

Fascination Fermentation: The Hidden Magic Behind Our Favorite Foods

What exactly is fermentation?


Fermentation, often called fermentation,is an ancient biological process in which microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and fungi break down organic substances in food. This process not only allows foods to be preserved for extended periods of time, but also gives them unique flavors and textures. In addition, fermentation can create or increase the concentration of health-promoting ingredients, such as probiotics and vitamins.


History of fermentation:

The history of fermentation is as old as human civilization itself. Even in early civilizations, people accidentally discovered that foods stored under certain conditions fermented. This led to the production of beer in Mesopotamia, wine in ancient Egypt, and fermented vegetables in various Asian cultures. These processes were refined and passed down through generations. In the past, people did not understand exactly why or how fermentation worked. All that was known was that it worked. It wasn’t until the advent of microbiology in the 19th century that scientists began to realize that microorganisms (such as bacteria, yeasts and molds) were responsible for the fermentation process.


Process of fermentation:

Fermentation is basically an anaerobic process in which microorganisms convert sugars and starches in food into alcohol and acids. This process can be done naturally by the microorganisms present in the food or by adding specific cultures of microorganisms.

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There are different types of fermentation:

Alcoholic fermentation: in this process, sugar is mainly converted into ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide. This process is catalyzed by yeasts and some types of bacteria. Examples include the production of beer, wine and bread.


Lactic acid fermentation: in this form of fermentation, sugar is converted into lactic acid. This is mainly done by lactic acid bacteria. Examples include the production of yogurt, sauerkraut and pickled vegetables.


Acetic acid fermentation: in this process, ethanol is converted into acetic acid by bacteria. An example is the production of vinegar.


Butyric acid fermentation: Some bacteria produce butyric acid, especially in anaerobic conditions. An example is the production of butter.


Fermentation is not only used for food production. It also plays an important role in biotechnology, for example in the production of drugs, vitamins and other chemicals.


In summary, fermentation has a long history and has evolved from accidental discoveries in ancient times to a highly specialized and science-based process that is widely used in the food industry and beyond.

The diversity of fermented foods Fermented products can be found in almost every culture and reflect the culinary diversity of our world:

Permanent sausages: these are sausages that get their maturity from the fermentation process of meat, which gives them an intense flavor and a special consistency.


Pickled cucumbers:This type of fermentation is vinegar fermentation, in which cucumbers are pickled and preserved with herbs such as dill and mustard seeds.Kimchi: A spicy and sour dish from Korea in which various vegetables are fermented, often with the addition of chili.


Sauerkraut: The fermented white cabbage is not only popular in Germany.It is characterized by its sour taste and firm-to-the-bite texture.Tempeh: This protein source from Indonesia is made from fermented soybeans and has a firm, nutty texture.


Kombucha: This fizzy tea drink is produced by fermenting sweet teas with a combination of bacteria and yeasts.Kefir: This dairy drink goes through a fermentation process with special kefir grains that are a mixture of bacteria and yeasts.


Kefir: This dairy drink undergoes a fermentation process with special kefir grains that are a mixture of bacteria and yeasts.


Miso: This thick paste from Japan has a salty and umami-rich flavor and is made from fermented soybeans and often a grain like rice.


The Kündig Group – your expert in raw materials used for fermentation:

The quality of the ingredients is at the heart of any successful fermented product. At the Kündig Group, we rely on our special Biosteril® decontamination process to ensure that our dehydrated vegetables, spices and herbs not only contain as few unwanted microorganisms as possible that are dangerous to the fermentation process, but also retain their natural flavors and nutrients. This ensures an optimal fermentation result that combines taste, texture and safety.

With many years of experience and a deep passion for quality, we at the Kündig Group strive to be your reliable partner for raw materials of fermented products. Rely on expertise that not only meets but exceeds your expectations.If you are interested, we look forward to hearing from you by phone at +49 36949 284 15. You will then be put in touch with the appropriate specialist.