Questions Science and Education

What are the types of fermentation?


Prerna Das

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Fermentation is classified as the metabolic process which gives rise to chemical changes in the organic substrates and parts due to enzymes. Biochemistry defines it as energy extraction from the carbohydrates when there is a lack of oxygen. In food production, there is a broader meaning where the activity of the microorganisms makes a desirable change to the beverage or food. The science of fermentation is called zymology. 

There are types of fermentation, which are commonly seen: 

Lactic Acid Fermentation

This is the fermentation procedure which is used by certain bacteria and animals. This form of fermentation is used routinely in skeletal muscle as well as in mammalian red blood cells, which suffer from an insufficient oxygen supply to ensure that aerobic respiration continues. In muscles, especially, this accumulation of lactic acid must be removed using the blood circulation. 

Alcoholic Fermentation

This is a familiar fermentation procedure which produces ethanol, which is an alcohol. The pyruvate decarboxylase causes the very first reaction along with thiamine pyrophosphate. Then a certain carboxyl group is taken out of the pyruvic acid, which releases the carbon dioxide as a gas. 

Propionic Acid Fermentation

Propionic acid (CH3-CH2-COOH) results from many anaerobic bacteria amongst which are Veillonella, coryneform Propionibacterium and others. P.freudenreichii and Propionibacterium acidipropionici are the main propionic acid fermenters. These are found in herbivorous cattle. The propionic acid bacteria dissimilate the glucose using EMP and as such produces pyruvic acid. This is then converted to oxalacetic acid and then to succinic acid when it is ultimately transformed to propionyl-CoA that gives the propionic acid. This acid contributes to special flavor in certain cheeses like Swiss cheese. 

Butanol Fermentation:

The bacteria which results in butyric acid-butanol fermentation all come from anaerobic spore that forms bacteria which belongs to the genus of Clostridium. For example, C. lactoacetophilum, C. butyricum and such produce butyric acid altogether, along with acetic acid.

Mixed Acid Fermentation

This form of fermentation occurs in the Enterobacteriaceae family of bacteria. These bacteria are succinct in growing both anaerobically and aerobically. It is called mixed acid fermentation because lots of organic acids, as well as neutral compounds, are made. A characteristic of this fermentation is formic acid. But along with different substances like lactic acid, succinic acid, acetic acid, acetoin, ethanol, molecular hydrogen, CO2 and more made. 

These are the five main types of fermentation which occurs.

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