WHAT’S FERMENTED FOOD ALL ABOUT AND WHY IS IT SO HEALTHY?By Quirine Smit
Fermentation is hot! But that’s no news. All of our products are fermented products, which is a good thing for many reasons. What exactly is fermentation all about and why is it so healthy? We’re happy to explain.
WHAT IS FERMENTATION?
When making different kinds of food, fermentation is required. This may sound rather complicated and strange, but let me tell you that you are eating more fermented food than you might think. Examples include (plant-based) yoghurt, cheese, beer, bread, tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kombucha, wine and vinegar. You see? In addition to the fermentation process in many types of food, fermentation has been applied for centuries to make sure food lasts longer.
GOOD BACTERIA, YEASTS AND FUNGI
Fermentation requires good bacteria. These can already exist in products or sometimes they have been added. These bacteria (or fungi and yeasts) will eat up the sugars that exist in the food, providing acids as a result. This is called lactic acid, although alcohol and carbon dioxide occur as well. Lactic acid is a plant-based product, even though the name might suggest otherwise.
Fermentation is about transforming or breaking down products’ raw materials using microorganisms. These are bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Heat and moisture will allow organisms to grow. During this process microorganisms will start producing enzymes that will change the acidity level, smell, taste, look, digestibility and shelf life of products. This is called fermentation. Because of these by-products the product will change, and last longer.
WHY IS FERMENTED FOOD HEALTHY FOOD?
Because of fermentation, our body is more able to accept less digestible food. Good bacteria can break down most of the substances challenging our digestive system. It is how we can avoid cramps, stomach pain and bloating. Fermentation is not only about breaking down bad things; it also helps produce good things. Our intestines are provided with probiotics that serve our immune system. Besides, our large intestine is protected from disease makers. In addition to being healthy, these are delicious products surely you wouldn’t mind adding to your meals.
BEST KNOWN FERMENTED PRODUCT: (PLANT-BASED) YOGHURT
Yoghurt, or a plant-based alternative to it, is the best known type of a product containing good bacteria. For Coco Start and Almond Start we are adding four types of plant-based yoghurt cultures to allow ‘yoghurt’ to ferment. These are: Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus lactis. The first two make sure that the sugar in the coconut or almond milk turns into an acid, providing a nice and full texture. The other two cultures are probiotics (an article will follow shortly) many food experts say they are an asset for your intestines. To find out more about the ingredients of our products, feel free to go to Coco Start and Almond Start.
Source: Voedingscentrum, Gezondheidsnet, HetKanWel