In developing countries, traditional fermentation serves many purposes. It can improve the taste of an otherwise bland food, enhance the digestibility of a food that is difficult to assimilate, preserve food from degradation by noxious organisms, and increase nutritional value through the synthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins.
Although "fermented food" has a vaguely distasteful ring, bread, wine, cheese, and yogurt are all familiar fermented foods. Less familiar are gari, ogi, idli, ugba, and other relatively unstudied but important foods in some African and Asian countries. This book reports on current research to improve the safety and nutrition of these foods through an elucidation of the microorganisms and mechanisms involved in their production. Also included are recommendations for needed research.
National Research Council. Applications of Biotechnology in Traditional Fermented Foods. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1992.
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