Fermentation chemical is a process that breaks down anaerobically molecules such as glucose. More precisely, fermentation is the foaming that arises during the processing of wine and beer. The frothing is the product of carbon dioxide gas evolution, although it was not recognized until the 17th century.
The French chemist, microbiologist, and chemist Louis Pasteur used the term fermentation, in the 19th century, in a narrow sense, to describe the changes that occurred due to the presence of yeasts and other micro-organisms grown in the absence of air. He also acknowledged that the results of fermentation are not only limited to ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide.
How does fermentation work?
Microorganisms survive for energy and fuel with the use of carbohydrates (sugars, like glucose). Organic chemicals such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) provide the required energy to each part of a cell. Microbes use respiration to generate ATP. The most efficient way to do that is aerobic respiration, which requires oxygen. Glycolysis starts with aerobic respiration, where glucose is converted into pyruvic acid. Aerobic respiration occurs when there is enough oxygen.
Fermentation is similar to anaerobic respiration; the kind that occurs when there is insufficient oxygen. Fermentation, however, results in the production of various organic molecules such as lactic acid, which also leads to ATP, unlike respiration, which uses pyruvic acid. The capacity of individual cells and microbes to switch between the two different modes of energy production depends on environmental factors. Organisms typically obtain energy by fermentation anaerobically, however, some organisms use sulfate as the final electron acceptor in the chain of electron transport.
3 prominent types of chemicals used for the fermentation processes
Alcohol fermentation also called ethanol fermentation is the yeasts’ anaerobic pathway for turning simple sugars into carbon dioxide and ethanol. Yeasts usually work under aerobic conditions, or in the existence of oxygen, but can also work under anaerobic conditions, or when there is a lack of oxygen. In the cytosol of yeast cells, alcohol fermentation arises when no oxygen is readily available. The main objective of alcohol fermentation under anaerobic conditions is to generate ATP, the energy currency of cells. The carbon dioxide and ethanol are waste products from the context of the yeast.
In the food and beverage sectors, organic acids are some of the most versatile ingredients. Some of the organic acids widely used in different industries are acetic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, gluconic acid, propionic acid, and fumaric acid. They are collected as end-products or as the intermediate components of a specific biochemical cycle at times. Organic acids are usually produced by chemical synthesis or fermentation on a commercial basis. Fermentation processes, however, are the most commonly used process. In microbiological processes, all organic acids of the tricarboxylic acid cycle can be produced at high yields. The organic acids production is regulated by submerged fermentation among fermentation processes.
Proteins are enzymes that act as catalysts. Enzymes lower the energy needed to produce a reaction without the reaction being used up. Most types of industries use enzymes to help generate their products. Examples of such products are alcohol, cheese, and bread. Fermentation is a modern method of generating enzymes. Fermentation requires the use of microorganisms to develop the enzymes, such as bacteria and yeast. There are two fermentation processes used to produce enzymes. These are fermentation submerged and fermentation of the solid-state. Submerged fermentation involves the production in a liquid nutrient media of enzymes by microorganisms.
Sneak peek- What’s trending in the fermentation technology?
The fermentation chemicals market is thriving under the influence of a wide range of prevalent chemicals for intended fermentation processes. Alcohol, enzymes, and organic acids are the most widely used fermentation products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is constantly working to confine the use and production of high-risk chemicals. In its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the EPA has listed high-risk chemicals and is scrutinizing them thoroughly for the risk they present to humans and the environment.
Across developing countries and the Far East, fermented food products make up a significant portion of the diet. In recent times there has been a growing interest in fermented food products, primarily driven by the perceived health benefits of such products. This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future because of the increasing prevalence of metabolic syndromes like obesity, various food allergies, and intolerances (lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, etc.), choices in lifestyles including vegetarianism and veganism, and increasing consumer interest in everything regarded as natural and encourages health and longevity.
The culture medium needs key biological elements that promote microorganism growth. Besides the carbohydrates used as an energy source, living cells need critical components to improve their metabolism efficiency. For processes of industrial fermentation, organic nitrogen (proteins) and growth factors are critical. These elements act as building blocks and messengers within the microorganism, ensuring the molecule of interest has a high rate of production.
Due to the ever-expanding range of microbial fermentation technology applications, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on R&D to prompt innovations. Although the technology for microbial fermentation is not new to the pharmaceutical industry, recent technological advances keep increasing market competition. Technological innovations and the discovery of new methods for pharmaceutical fermentation seek to achieve increased yields, shorter production processes, improved performance, and product quality and reduce contamination risks.