'Fermentation' also describes growing microorganisms on a growth medium. This is done to get a chemical product. French microbiologist Louis Pasteur studied fermentation and its microbial causes. The science of fermentation is known as zymology.
Yeast is an organism that ferments. When yeast ferments sugar, the yeast uses sugar and produces alcohol. The process uses the coenzyme NAD: In metabolism, NAD helps redox reactions, carrying electrons from one reaction to another. Fermentation is a less efficient form of respiration than oxidative respiration (respiration using oxygen).
The ethyl alcohol produced by yeast is used to make beverages or biofuel. Yeast can be also used to grow bakery products like bread and cakes faster. In some cases yeast might be used to speed up the process of creation of wine.
Types of fermentation
- Ethanol fermentation always produces ethanol and carbon dioxide. It is important in bread-making, brewing, and wine-making.
- Lactic acid fermentation produces lactic acid. It happens in muscles of animals when they need lots of energy fast. The pain of a cramped muscle is caused by the build-up of lactic acid. The pain eases as the product is taken away by the blood supply.
Images for kids
Fermentation in progress: Bubbles of CO2 form a froth on top of the fermentation mixture.
Fermentation Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.