Fermentation (food)

Fermentation (food)

Overview

Fermentation in food processing
Food processing
Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry...

 typically is the conversion of carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s to alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

s and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeast
Yeast
Yeasts are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with 1,500 species currently described estimated to be only 1% of all fungal species. Most reproduce asexually by mitosis, and many do so by an asymmetric division process called budding...

s, bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

s into ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

. The science of fermentation is also known as zymology
Zymology
Zymology is the study of zymurgy, the area of applied science related to fermentation. It deals with the biochemical processes involved in fermentation, with yeast selection and physiology, and with the practical issues of brewing.- Fermentation :...

, or zymurgy.

Fermentation usually implies that the action of microorganisms is desirable, and the process is used to produce alcoholic beverages such as wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

, beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

, and cider
Cider
Cider or cyder is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% abv to 8.5% abv or more in traditional English ciders. In some regions, such as Germany and America, cider may be termed "apple wine"...

.
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Encyclopedia

Fermentation in food processing
Food processing
Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry...

 typically is the conversion of carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s to alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

s and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeast
Yeast
Yeasts are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with 1,500 species currently described estimated to be only 1% of all fungal species. Most reproduce asexually by mitosis, and many do so by an asymmetric division process called budding...

s, bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

s into ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

. The science of fermentation is also known as zymology
Zymology
Zymology is the study of zymurgy, the area of applied science related to fermentation. It deals with the biochemical processes involved in fermentation, with yeast selection and physiology, and with the practical issues of brewing.- Fermentation :...

, or zymurgy.

Fermentation usually implies that the action of microorganisms is desirable, and the process is used to produce alcoholic beverages such as wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

, beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

, and cider
Cider
Cider or cyder is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% abv to 8.5% abv or more in traditional English ciders. In some regions, such as Germany and America, cider may be termed "apple wine"...

. Fermentation is also employed in the leavening of bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

 (CO2 produced by yeast activity), and for preservation techniques to produce lactic acid
Lactic acid
Lactic acid, also known as milk acid, is a chemical compound that plays a role in various biochemical processes and was first isolated in 1780 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Lactic acid is a carboxylic acid with the chemical formula C3H6O3...

 in sour foods such as sauerkraut
Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut , directly translated from German: "sour cabbage", is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. It has a long shelf-life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid...

, dry sausages
Salami
Salami is cured sausage, fermented and air-dried meat, originating from one of a variety of animals. Historically, salami has been popular among Southern European peasants because it can be stored at room temperature for periods of up to 10 years, supplementing a possibly meager or inconsistent...

, kimchi
Kimchi
Kimchi , also spelled gimchi, kimchee, or kim chee, is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with varied seasonings. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made with a main vegetable ingredient such as napa cabbage, radish, green onions or cucumber. It is the most common...

 and yogurt
Yoghurt
Yoghurt, yogurt or yogourt is a dairy product produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yoghurt are known as "yoghurt cultures"...

, or vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

 (acetic acid
Acetic acid
Acetic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3CO2H . It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar , and has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell...

) for use in pickling
Pickling
Pickling, also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar . The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste...

 foods.

Natural fermentation precedes human history. Since ancient times, however, humans have been controlling the fermentation process. The earliest evidence of winemaking dates from eight thousand years ago, in Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, in the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 area. Seven-thousand-year-old jars containing the remains of wine have been excavated in the Zagros Mountains
Zagros Mountains
The Zagros Mountains are the largest mountain range in Iran and Iraq. With a total length of 1,500 km , from northwestern Iran, and roughly correlating with Iran's western border, the Zagros range spans the whole length of the western and southwestern Iranian plateau and ends at the Strait of...

 in Iran, which are now on display at the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

. There is strong evidence that people were fermenting beverages in Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

 circa 5000 BC, ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 circa 3150 BC, pre-Hispanic Mexico circa 2000 BC, and Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 circa 1500 BC. There is also evidence of leavened bread in ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 circa 1500 BC and of milk fermentation in Babylon circa 3000 BC.

French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 chemist Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist born in Dole. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases. His discoveries reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and he created the first vaccine for rabies and anthrax. His experiments...

 was the first known zymologist, when in 1856 he connected yeast to fermentation. Pasteur originally defined fermentation as "respiration without air". Pasteur performed careful research and concluded:

Contributions to biochemistry



When studying the fermentation of sugar to alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 by yeast
Yeast
Yeasts are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with 1,500 species currently described estimated to be only 1% of all fungal species. Most reproduce asexually by mitosis, and many do so by an asymmetric division process called budding...

, Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist born in Dole. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases. His discoveries reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and he created the first vaccine for rabies and anthrax. His experiments...

 concluded that the fermentation was catalyzed by a vital force, called "ferments
Vitalism
Vitalism, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is#a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from biochemical reactions...

," within the yeast cells. The "ferments" were thought to function only within living organisms. "Alcoholic fermentation is an act correlated with the life and organization of the yeast cells, not with the death or putrefaction of the cells," he wrote.

Nevertheless, it was known that yeast extracts ferment sugar even in the absence of living yeast cells. While studying this process in 1897, Eduard Buchner
Eduard Buchner
Eduard Buchner was a German chemist and zymologist, awarded with the 1907 Nobel Prize in Chemistry thanks to his work on fermentation.-Early years:...

 of Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin
The Humboldt University of Berlin is Berlin's oldest university, founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, whose university model has strongly influenced other European and Western universities...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, found that sugar was fermented even when there were no living yeast cells in the mixture, by a yeast secretion that he termed zymase
Zymase
Zymase is an enzyme complex that catalyzes the fermentation of sugar into ethanol and carbon dioxide. They occur naturally in yeasts...

. In 1907 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of chemistry. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature,...

 for his research and discovery of "cell-free fermentation."

One year prior, in 1906, ethanol fermentation
Ethanol fermentation
Ethanol fermentation, also referred to as alcoholic fermentation, is a biological process in which sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose are converted into cellular energy and thereby produce ethanol and carbon dioxide as metabolic waste products...

 studies led to the early discovery of NAD+
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, abbreviated NAD, is a coenzyme found in all living cells. The compound is a dinucleotide, since it consists of two nucleotides joined through their phosphate groups. One nucleotide contains an adenine base and the other nicotinamide.In metabolism, NAD is involved...

.

Uses


The primary benefit of fermentation is the conversion of sugars and other carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s, e.g., converting juice
Juice
Juice is the liquid that is naturally contained in fruit or vegetable tissue.Juice is prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fruit or vegetable flesh without the application of heat or solvents. For example, orange juice is the liquid extract of the fruit of the orange tree...

 into wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

, grains into beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

, carbohydrates into carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 to leaven
Leavening agent
A leavening agent is any one of a number of substances used in doughs and batters that cause a foaming action which lightens and softens the finished product...

 bread, and sugars in vegetables into preservative organic acid
Organic acid
An organic acid is an organic compound with acidic properties. The most common organic acids are the carboxylic acids, whose acidity is associated with their carboxyl group –COOH. Sulfonic acids, containing the group –SO2OH, are relatively stronger acids. The relative stability of the conjugate...

s.

Food fermentation has been said to serve five main purposes:
  • Enrichment of the diet through development of a diversity of flavors, aromas, and textures in food substrates
  • Preservation of substantial amounts of food through lactic acid
    Lactic acid
    Lactic acid, also known as milk acid, is a chemical compound that plays a role in various biochemical processes and was first isolated in 1780 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Lactic acid is a carboxylic acid with the chemical formula C3H6O3...

    , alcohol
    Alcohol
    In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

    , acetic acid
    Acetic acid
    Acetic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3CO2H . It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar , and has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell...

     and alkaline fermentations
  • Biological enrichment of food substrates with protein, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and vitamins
  • Elimination of antinutrients
  • A decrease in cooking times and fuel requirements

Fermented foods by region


  • Worldwide: alcohol
    Alcohol
    In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

    , wine
    Wine
    Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

    , vinegar
    Vinegar
    Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

    , olives, yogurt, bread
    Bread
    Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

    , cheese
    Cheese
    Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

  • Asia
    Asia
    Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

    • East
      East Asia
      East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

       and Southeast Asia
      Southeast Asia
      Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

      :
      amazake
      Amazake
      is a traditional sweet, low-alcoholic Japanese drink made from fermented rice. Amazake dates from the Kofun period, and it is mentioned in the Nihon Shoki. It is part of the family of traditional Japanese foods made using that includes miso, soy sauce, and sake....

      , asinan
      Asinan
      Asinan is a pickled vegetables or fruits dish, commonly found in Indonesia. The term asin is Indonesian word for "salty", which explain the process of preserving the ingredients through soaking it in the solution of salt water. Asinan is quite similar to rujak, the difference is rujak usually...

      , atchara
      Atchara
      Atchara, also spelled as Achara or Atsara, is a Philippine condiment made from pickled unripe papaya. This dish is often served as a side dish for fried or grilled foods such as pork barbecue.-Preparation:...

      , bai-ming, belacan, burong mangga
      Burong mangga
      Burong mangga is a Filipino food made by mixing sugar, salt, and water to mangoes that have previously been salted. The mixture of water and sugar should be boiled first before pouring it onto the salted mangoes. The sugar-water mixture should then be cooled before pouring it over the salted mangoes...

      , com ruou, dalok, doenjang
      Doenjang
      Doenjang is a traditional Korean fermented soybean paste. Its name literally means "thick paste" in Korean.-Production:...

      , douchi
      Douchi
      Douchi , also called Chinese fermented black beans , is a flavoring most popular in the cuisine of China, and is used to make black bean sauce....

      , jeruk, lambanog, kimchi
      Kimchi
      Kimchi , also spelled gimchi, kimchee, or kim chee, is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with varied seasonings. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made with a main vegetable ingredient such as napa cabbage, radish, green onions or cucumber. It is the most common...

      , kombucha
      Kombucha
      Kombucha is an effervescent tea-based beverage that is often drunk for its anecdotal health benefits or medicinal purposes. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture, often referred...

      , leppet-so, narezushi, miang, miso
      Miso
      is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus , the most typical miso being made with soy. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso...

      , nata de coco
      Nata de coco
      Nata de coco is a chewy, translucent, jelly-like food product produced by the fermentation of coconut water, which gels through the production of microbial cellulose by Acetobacter xylinus. Nata de coco is most commonly sweetened as a candy or dessert, and can accompany many things including...

      , nata de pina, natto
      Natto
      is a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis. It is popular especially as a breakfast food. As a rich source of protein and probiotics, nattō and the soybean paste miso formed a vital source of nutrition in feudal Japan. Nattō can be an acquired taste because...

      , naw-mai-dong, oncom
      Oncom
      Oncom is one of the traditional staple foods of West Javan cuisine. There are two kinds of oncom: red oncom and black oncom...

      , pak-siam-dong, paw-tsaynob, prahok
      Prahok
      Prahok​​ is a crushed, salted and fermented fish paste that is used in Cambodian cuisine as a seasoning or a condiment. It originated as a way of preserving fish during the longer months when fresh fish was not available in abundant supply...

      , ruou nep, sake, seokbakji, soju
      Soju
      Soju is a distilled beverage native to Korea. Its taste is comparable to vodka, though often slightly sweeter due to sugars added in the manufacturing process, and more commonly consumed neat.Most brands of soju are made in South Korea...

      , soy sauce
      Soy sauce
      Soy sauce is a condiment produced by fermenting soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds, along with water and salt...

      , stinky tofu
      Stinky tofu
      Stinky tofu or chòu dòufu is a form of fermented tofu that has a strong odor. It is a popular snack in East and Southeast Asia, particularly mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and in East Asian enclaves elsewhere where it is usually found homemade, at night markets or roadside stands, or as a...

      , szechwan cabbage, tai-tan tsoi, chiraki, tape, tempeh
      Tempeh
      Tempeh , or tempe , is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty...

      , totkal kimchi, yen tsai, zha cai
      Zha cai
      Zha cai is a type of pickled mustard plant stem originating from Sichuan, China. Other transliterations might include cha tsai, tsa tsai; or jar choy, jar choi, ja choi, ja choy, or cha tsoi...

    • Central Asia
      Central Asia
      Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

      :
      kumis
      Kumis
      Kumis, also spelled kumiss or koumiss in English is a fermented dairy product traditionally made from mare's milk. The drink remains important to the peoples of the Central Asian steppes, of Turkic and Mongol origin: Bashkirs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Yakuts, Mongols and Kalmyks...

       (mare milk), kefir
      Kefir
      Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated with shepherds of the North Caucasus region, who discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into an effervescent beverage...

      , shubat (camel milk)
    • South Asia
      South Asia
      South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

      :
      achar
      Achar
      Achar may refer to:* Achar, a word used in many Indo-Aryan languages for Indian pickle* Achar people, an ethnographic group of Georgians* Achar or Achan, a figure mentioned in the Book of Joshua...

      , appam
      Appam
      Appam, Aappam hoppers, are a type of food in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan cuisine. It is called chitau Pitha in Oriya, Paddu or Gulle Eriyappa in Kodava. It is known as ආප්ප in Sinhala. It is eaten most frequently for breakfast or dinner.Appum or aapum – pronunciation varies between regions...

      , dosa
      Dosa
      Dosa or Dhosai is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. It is indigenous to and is a staple dish in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, as well as being popular in Sri Lanka...

      , dhokla
      Dhokla
      Dhokla or Dhokra is a vegetarian food item that originates from the Indian state of Gujarat. It is made with a fermented batter of gram flour . Dhokla can be eaten for breakfast, as a main course, as a side dish or as a snack...

      , dahi (yogurt), idli, kaanji, mixed pickle
      Mixed pickle
      Mixed pickles are pickles made from a variety of vegetables mixed together in the same pickling process. Mixed pickles are eaten much like other pickles: in small amounts to add flavor and to accent a meal.Mixed pickles occur in many different world cuisines....

      , u-to-nga, jaand (rice beer), sinki
      Sinki (food)
      Sinki is a preserved vegetable, similar to gundruk. Gundruk is prepared from leafy vegetables but sinki is prepared from radish tap roots. The roots are wilted, shredded and then left to ferment via the action of several species of lactobacillus before being sun dried....

      , tongba
      Tongba
      Tongba is a millet-based alcoholic beverage found in the far eastern mountainous region of Nepal and the neighbouring Darjeeling and Sikkim districts of India. It is the traditional and indigenous drink of the Limbu people of eastern Nepal....

      , panir
  • Africa
    Africa
    Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

    :
    fermented millet porridge, garri
    Garri
    Garri is a popular West African food made from cassava tubers. The spelling 'garri' is mainly used in Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and 'gari' in Ghana....

    , hibiscus
    Hibiscus
    Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It is quite large, containing several hundred species that are native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world...

     seed, hot pepper sauce, injera
    Injera
    Injera is a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea...

    , lamoun makbouss, laxoox
    Laxoox
    Lahoh, also spelled laxoox in Somali, is a spongy, pancake-like bread originating in Djibouti, Somalia and Yemen. It is also popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Yemenite Jews who immigrated there. In Yemen, it is often sold on the street by peddlers.-Preparation:Lahoh is prepared from a...

    , mauoloh, msir, mslalla, oilseed, ogi
    Ogi (cereal ferment)
    Ogi is a fermented cereal porridge from West Africa, typically made from maize, sorghum, or millet. Traditionally, the grains are soaked in water for up to three days, before wet milling and sieving to remove husks. The filtered cereal is then allowed to ferment for up to three days until sour...

    , ogili, ogiri
    Ogiri
    Ogiri is a flavoring made of fermented oil seeds, such as sesame seeds or egusi seeds. The process and product are similar to iru or douchi. Its smell is like cheese, miso, or stinky tofu.Ogiri is best known in West Africa....

  • Americas
    Americas
    The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

    :
    chicha
    Chicha
    For the musical genre, see Peruvian cumbiaChicha is a term used in some regions of Latin America for several varieties of fermented and non-fermented beverages, rather often to those derived from maize and similar non-alcoholic beverages...

    , elderberry wine, kombucha
    Kombucha
    Kombucha is an effervescent tea-based beverage that is often drunk for its anecdotal health benefits or medicinal purposes. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture, often referred...

    , pickling
    Pickling
    Pickling, also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar . The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste...

     (pickled vegetables), sauerkraut
    Sauerkraut
    Sauerkraut , directly translated from German: "sour cabbage", is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. It has a long shelf-life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid...

    , lupin
    Lupin
    Lupinus, commonly known as Lupins or lupines , is a genus in the legume family . The genus comprises about 280 species , with major centers of diversity in South and western North America , and the Andes and secondary centers in the Mediterranean region and Africa Lupinus, commonly known as Lupins...

     seed, oilseed, chocolate
    Chocolate
    Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

    , vanilla
    Vanilla
    Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

    , tabasco
    Tabasco sauce
    Tabasco sauce is the brand name for a hot sauce produced by US-based McIlhenny Company of Avery Island, Louisiana. Tabasco sauce is made from tabasco peppers , vinegar, and salt, and aged in white oak barrels for three years. It has a hot, spicy flavor...

    , tibicos
    Tibicos
    Tibicos, also known as tibi, water kefir grains, sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals and California Bees, and in older literature also known as Bébées, African bees, Ale nuts, Australian bees, Balm of Gilead, Beer seeds, Beer plant, Bees, Ginger Beer plant, Ginger bees, Japanese Beer seeds...

    , pulque
  • Middle East
    Middle East
    The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

    :
    kushuk, lamoun makbouss, mekhalel, torshi, boza
    Boza
    Boza, also bosa , is a popular fermented beverage in Kazakhstan, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and also Poland and Lithuania...

  • Europe
    Europe
    Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

    :
    rakfisk
    Rakfisk
    Rakfisk is a traditional eastern Norwegian fish dish made from trout or sometimes char, salted and fermented for two to three months, then eaten without cooking.-Origin:...

    , sauerkraut
    Sauerkraut
    Sauerkraut , directly translated from German: "sour cabbage", is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. It has a long shelf-life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid...

    , pickled cucumber
    Pickled cucumber
    A pickled cucumber is a cucumber that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation.-Gherkin:A gherkin is not only...

    , surströmming
    Surströmming
    Surströmming herring") is a northern Swedish dish consisting of fermented Baltic herring. Surströmming is sold in cans, which often bulge during shipping and storage, due to the continued fermentation. When opened, the contents release a strong and sometimes overwhelming odor, which explains why...

    , mead
    Mead
    Mead , also called honey wine, is an alcoholic beverage that is produced by fermenting a solution of honey and water. It may also be produced by fermenting a solution of water and honey with grain mash, which is strained immediately after fermentation...

    , elderberry wine, salami
    Salami
    Salami is cured sausage, fermented and air-dried meat, originating from one of a variety of animals. Historically, salami has been popular among Southern European peasants because it can be stored at room temperature for periods of up to 10 years, supplementing a possibly meager or inconsistent...

    , prosciutto
    Prosciutto
    Prosciutto |ham]]) or Parma ham is a dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian and is distinguished from cooked ham, prosciutto cotto....

    , cultured milk
    Fermented milk products
    Fermented milk products, also known as cultured dairy foods, cultured dairy products, or cultured milk products, are dairy foods that have been fermented with lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, and Leuconostoc...

     products such as quark, kefir
    Kefir
    Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated with shepherds of the North Caucasus region, who discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into an effervescent beverage...

    , filmjölk
    Filmjölk
    Filmjölk is a Nordic dairy product, similar to yoghurt, but using different bacteria which give a different taste and texture....

    , crème fraîche
    Crème fraîche
    Crème fraîche is a soured cream containing about 28% butterfat and with a pH of around 4.5. It is soured with bacterial culture, but is less sour than sour cream. It has a comparatively high viscosity and a higher fat content....

    , smetana, skyr
    Skyr
    Skyr is an Icelandic cultured dairy product, similar to strained yogurt. Technically it is a very soft cheese. It is very popular in Icelandic cuisine. Skyr was originally discovered by accident. A group of farmers in Iceland in the early settlement days poured skim milk over barrels of meat to...

    .
  • Oceania
    Oceania
    Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

    :
    poi
    Poi (food)
    Poi is a Hawaiian word for the primary Polynesian staple food made from the corm of the taro plant . Poi is produced by mashing the cooked corm until it is a highly viscous fluid...

    , kaanga pirau (rotten corn), sago

Bean-based


Cheonggukjang
Cheonggukjang
Cheonggukjang is a fermented soybean paste used in Korean cuisine. It contains whole as well as ground soybeans.- Production :It can be made in 2 to 3 days through fermentation of boiled soybeans, adding Bacillus subtilis, which is usually contained in the air or in the jip, dried rice plants,...

, doenjang
Doenjang
Doenjang is a traditional Korean fermented soybean paste. Its name literally means "thick paste" in Korean.-Production:...

, miso
Miso
is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus , the most typical miso being made with soy. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso...

, natto
Natto
is a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis. It is popular especially as a breakfast food. As a rich source of protein and probiotics, nattō and the soybean paste miso formed a vital source of nutrition in feudal Japan. Nattō can be an acquired taste because...

, soy sauce
Soy sauce
Soy sauce is a condiment produced by fermenting soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds, along with water and salt...

, stinky tofu
Stinky tofu
Stinky tofu or chòu dòufu is a form of fermented tofu that has a strong odor. It is a popular snack in East and Southeast Asia, particularly mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and in East Asian enclaves elsewhere where it is usually found homemade, at night markets or roadside stands, or as a...

, tempeh
Tempeh
Tempeh , or tempe , is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty...

, soybean paste, Beijing mung bean milk.

Grain-based



Amazake
Amazake
is a traditional sweet, low-alcoholic Japanese drink made from fermented rice. Amazake dates from the Kofun period, and it is mentioned in the Nihon Shoki. It is part of the family of traditional Japanese foods made using that includes miso, soy sauce, and sake....

, beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

, bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

, choujiu
Choujiu
Choujiu is a type of Chinese fermented alcoholic beverage brewed from glutinous rice. It is very thick and has a milky white color, which is sometimes compared to jade....

, gamju
Gamju
Gamju or dansul is a traditional Korean alcoholic beverage, made from rice fermented with yeast-cake. Because its fermentation is incomplete, its alcohol content is relatively low. It is made from steamed rice, to which water and yeast-cake are added. It is then fermented for several hours in a...

, injera
Injera
Injera is a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea...

, kvass
Kvass
Kvass, kvas, quass or gira, gėra is a fermented beverage made from black...

, makgeolli, murri
Murri (condiment)
Murrī or Almorí was a condiment made of fermented barley or fish used in medieval Arab cuisine.There are two kinds of murrī, the more usual kind made using fermented barley, with a less common version made from fish. Almost every substantial dish in medieval Arab cuisine used murrī in small...

, ogi
Ogi (cereal ferment)
Ogi is a fermented cereal porridge from West Africa, typically made from maize, sorghum, or millet. Traditionally, the grains are soaked in water for up to three days, before wet milling and sieving to remove husks. The filtered cereal is then allowed to ferment for up to three days until sour...

, sake, sikhye
Sikhye
Sikhye is a traditional sweet Korean rice beverage, usually served as a dessert...

, sourdough
Sourdough
Sourdough is a dough containing a Lactobacillus culture, usually in symbiotic combination with yeasts. It is one of two principal means of biological leavening in bread baking, along with the use of cultivated forms of yeast . It is of particular importance in baking rye-based breads, where yeast...

, sowans
Sowans
Sowans or sowens is a Scottish dish made using the starch remaining on the inner husks of oats after milling. The husks are allowed to soak in water and ferment for a few days. The liquor is strained off and allowed to stand for a day to allow the starchy matter therein to settle. The liquid part,...

, rice wine
Rice wine
Rice wine is an alcoholic beverage made from rice. Unlike wine, which is made by fermentation of naturally sweet grapes and other fruit, rice "wine" results from the fermentation of rice starch converted to sugars...

, malt whisky
Malt whisky
Malt whisky is whisky that is made from a fermented mash produced primarily from a malted grain. Unless otherwise specified, it is generally assumed that the primary grain is barley, although whisky is also made using malted rye...

, grain whisky
Grain whisky
Grain whisky ordinarily refers to any whisky made from at least some grains other than malted barley, such as whisky made using maize , wheat or rye....

, idli, dosa
Dosa
Dosa or Dhosai is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. It is indigenous to and is a staple dish in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, as well as being popular in Sri Lanka...

, vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

.

Fruit-based


Wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

, vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

, cider
Cider
Cider or cyder is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% abv to 8.5% abv or more in traditional English ciders. In some regions, such as Germany and America, cider may be termed "apple wine"...

, perry
Perry
Perry is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented pears. Perry has been common for centuries in Britain, particularly in the Three Counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and in parts of south Wales; and France, especially Normandy and Anjou.In more recent years, commercial...

, brandy
Brandy
Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink...

, atchara
Atchara
Atchara, also spelled as Achara or Atsara, is a Philippine condiment made from pickled unripe papaya. This dish is often served as a side dish for fried or grilled foods such as pork barbecue.-Preparation:...

, nata de coco
Nata de coco
Nata de coco is a chewy, translucent, jelly-like food product produced by the fermentation of coconut water, which gels through the production of microbial cellulose by Acetobacter xylinus. Nata de coco is most commonly sweetened as a candy or dessert, and can accompany many things including...

, burong mangga
Burong mangga
Burong mangga is a Filipino food made by mixing sugar, salt, and water to mangoes that have previously been salted. The mixture of water and sugar should be boiled first before pouring it onto the salted mangoes. The sugar-water mixture should then be cooled before pouring it over the salted mangoes...

, asinan
Asinan
Asinan is a pickled vegetables or fruits dish, commonly found in Indonesia. The term asin is Indonesian word for "salty", which explain the process of preserving the ingredients through soaking it in the solution of salt water. Asinan is quite similar to rujak, the difference is rujak usually...

, pickling
Pickling
Pickling, also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar . The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste...

, vişinată
Visinata
Vişinată is a Romanian alcoholic beverage produced from sour cherries , sugar and alcohol.It is very flavorful and sweet, and most often home-made. As a consequence, there is no "official" recipe for it...


Dairy-based


Cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

, kefir
Kefir
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated with shepherds of the North Caucasus region, who discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into an effervescent beverage...

, kumis
Kumis
Kumis, also spelled kumiss or koumiss in English is a fermented dairy product traditionally made from mare's milk. The drink remains important to the peoples of the Central Asian steppes, of Turkic and Mongol origin: Bashkirs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Yakuts, Mongols and Kalmyks...

 (mare milk), shubat (camel milk), cultured milk
Fermented milk products
Fermented milk products, also known as cultured dairy foods, cultured dairy products, or cultured milk products, are dairy foods that have been fermented with lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, and Leuconostoc...

 products such as quark, filmjölk
Filmjölk
Filmjölk is a Nordic dairy product, similar to yoghurt, but using different bacteria which give a different taste and texture....

, crème fraîche
Crème fraîche
Crème fraîche is a soured cream containing about 28% butterfat and with a pH of around 4.5. It is soured with bacterial culture, but is less sour than sour cream. It has a comparatively high viscosity and a higher fat content....

, smetana, skyr
Skyr
Skyr is an Icelandic cultured dairy product, similar to strained yogurt. Technically it is a very soft cheese. It is very popular in Icelandic cuisine. Skyr was originally discovered by accident. A group of farmers in Iceland in the early settlement days poured skim milk over barrels of meat to...

, yogurt

Fish-based


Bagoong
Bagoong
Bagoong is a Philippine condiment made of partially or completely fermented fish or shrimps and salt. The fermentation process also results in fish sauce .The preparation of bagoong can vary regionally in the Philippines....

, faseekh, fish sauce
Fish sauce
Fish sauce is a condiment that is derived from fish that have been allowed to ferment. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces. Fish sauce is a staple ingredient in numerous cultures in Southeast Asia and the coastal regions of East Asia, and features heavily in Thai and Vietnamese...

, Garum
Garum
Garum, similar to liquamen, was a type of fermented fish sauce condiment that was an essential flavour in Ancient Roman cooking, the supreme condiment....

, Hákarl
Hákarl
Hákarl or kæstur hákarl is a food from Iceland. It is a Greenland or basking shark which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months...

, jeotgal
Jeotgal
Jeotgal or jeot is a salted fermented food in Korean cuisine. It is made with various seafood, such as shrimp, oysters, shellfish, fish, fish eggs, and fish intestines....

, rakfisk
Rakfisk
Rakfisk is a traditional eastern Norwegian fish dish made from trout or sometimes char, salted and fermented for two to three months, then eaten without cooking.-Origin:...

, shrimp paste
Shrimp paste
Shrimp paste or shrimp sauce, is a common ingredient used in Southeast Asian and Southern Chinese cuisine. It is known as terasi in Indonesian, ngapi in Burmese, kapi in Thai, Khmer and Lao language, belacan in Malay, mắm ruốc, mắm tép and mắm tôm in...

, surströmming
Surströmming
Surströmming herring") is a northern Swedish dish consisting of fermented Baltic herring. Surströmming is sold in cans, which often bulge during shipping and storage, due to the continued fermentation. When opened, the contents release a strong and sometimes overwhelming odor, which explains why...

, shidal

Risks of consuming fermented foods


Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 has witnessed a steady increase of cases of botulism
Botulism
Botulism also known as botulinus intoxication is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by botulinum toxin which is metabolic waste produced under anaerobic conditions by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, and affecting a wide range of mammals, birds and fish...

 since 1985. It has more cases of botulism than any other state in the United States of America. This is caused by the traditional Eskimo
Eskimo
Eskimos or Inuit–Yupik peoples are indigenous peoples who have traditionally inhabited the circumpolar region from eastern Siberia , across Alaska , Canada, and Greenland....

 practice of allowing animal products such as whole fish, fish heads, walrus
Walrus
The walrus is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the Arctic Ocean and sub-Arctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. The walrus is the only living species in the Odobenidae family and Odobenus genus. It is subdivided into three subspecies: the Atlantic...

, sea lion
Sea Lion
Sea lions are pinnipeds characterized by external ear-flaps, long fore-flippers, the ability to walk on all fours, and short thick hair. Together with the fur seal, they comprise the family Otariidae, or eared seals. There are six extant and one extinct species in five genera...

 and whale
Whale
Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to suborder Odontoceti . This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga...

 flippers, beaver
Beaver
The beaver is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent. Castor includes two extant species, North American Beaver and Eurasian Beaver . Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and lodges . They are the second-largest rodent in the world...

 tails, seal oil, birds, etc., to ferment for an extended period of time before being consumed. The risk is exacerbated when a plastic container is used for this purpose instead of the old-fashioned method, a grass-lined hole, as the botulinum
Clostridium botulinum
Clostridium botulinum is a Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that produces several toxins. The best known are its neurotoxins, subdivided in types A-G, that cause the flaccid muscular paralysis seen in botulism. It is also the main paralytic agent in botox. C. botulinum is an anaerobic...

bacteria thrive in the anaerobic conditions created by the air-tight enclosure in plastic.

External links