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Lactic acid fermentation is a method for preserving food. Yogurt, pickles, and kimchi are examples of foods made through this fermentation method. To find out more about the process and types of lactic fermented foods, see the explanation below
The lactic acid fermentation process uses lactic acid-producing bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, L. plantarum, L. casei, L. paracasei, and L. rhamnosus, as well as several types of yeast.
Lactic acid fermentation that utilizes these good microorganisms is usually done to process several types of food, from milk, grains, to fruit and vegetables.
The Process and Uses of Lactic Acid Fermentation
The simplest way to perform lactic acid fermentation is to wash foods that contain naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria, such as cabbage or cucumbers, and then soak them in s alt water. After that, the food is stored in a clean, tightly closed container.
Lactic acid bacteria will then break down the sugars in food into lactic acid and carbon dioxide. These substances reduce oxygen in the container and make food acidic, thereby supporting the growth of lactic acid-producing bacteria while preventing the growth of harmful bacteria or fungi that cause disease.
After that, fermented food is usually stored in a cool place to slow down further fermentation and prevent spoilage.The time required for lactic acid fermentation ranges from a few days to several months, or even years.
There are several reasons why lactic acid fermentation is chosen as a method for preserving food, including:
- Requires lower costs than freezing or canning food
- Enriching the taste, texture and aroma of food
- Prevents the growth of harmful microorganisms and food spoilage
- Makes food last longer and last longer
- Makes food easier to digest
In addition, several studies also state that lactic acid fermented foods are also good for he alth. Fermented foods are believed to maintain heart and brain he alth, reduce the risk of cancer, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of inflammation, diabetes, and obesity.
Lactic Acid Fermented Food
The following are some types of food produced from the lactic acid fermentation process:
Kimchi is a traditional Korean food made from vegetables fermented by Lactobacillus kimchii bacteria. Vegetables that are commonly processed into kimchi are chicory, radish, and cucumber. However, there are hundreds of types of vegetables that can also be processed as kimchi.
This lactic acid fermented food is not only delicious and appetizing, but also good for he alth. Not only that, kimchi is known to launch and maintain a he althy digestive system, strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, slow down aging, and maintain a he althy heart and brain.
Lactic acid fermentation also plays an important role in the production of tempeh. Tempe is a food fermented from soybeans by the bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum and the fungus Rhizopus oligosporus.
Tempe contains protein and vitamin B12 obtained from the fermentation process. This Indonesian food is considered good for maintaining a he althy digestive system, maintaining heart he alth and function, strengthening bones, and lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Miso is a Japanese food condiment produced by the fermentation of the fungus Aspergillus oryzae and Lactobacilli acidophilus in soybeans. Miso has a s alty and savory taste.
Foods that are commonly consumed as soups also have he alth benefits, namely reducing the risk of cancer and stroke and can improve heart and brain he alth.
Yogurt is a probiotic food made from fermented milk with lactic acid bacteria. Yogurt has a sour taste. Although processed from milk, yogurt is still safe for consumption by people who have lactose intolerance.
This fermented milk food is thought to be able to cure diarrhea caused by bacterial infections in the digestive tract, relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, improve bone he alth and strength, and keep blood pressure stable.
Pickles are generally made from fermented cucumbers in a mixture of water and s alt for some time and taste sour. The sour taste in pickles is caused by naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria.
Besides being rich in probiotic bacteria, pickles are a great source of vitamin K and low in calories. However, pickles made with vinegar do not contain live probiotic bacteria.
6. Vegetable s alted or sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria and has a taste similar to s alted vegetables, but more sour.
Sauerkraut contains fiber, probiotics, vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin K, sodium, iron, and manganese. In addition, sauerkraut also contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which are important for eye he alth.
Besides the foods above, there are many other foods and drinks that are processed by lactic acid fermentation, including kefir, kombucha, and several types of cheese.
Food and beverages made by lactic acid fermentation or other fermentations tend to be safe for consumption by everyone. However, people with weak immune systems are advised to avoid or limit consumption of fermented foods and beverages.
Although lactic acid fermented foods have many he alth benefits, you are advised to limit their consumption because they contain high amounts of s alt and sugar. You are also advised to see a doctor if you experience bloating or diarrhea after consuming fermented foods or drinks.