yeast

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How microbes flavor kefir

We can thank microbes for the tangy flavor and the effervescent creamy texture of kefir. This fermented milk product relies on dozens of bacteria and yeasts to convert the lactose and other compounds found in milk to small molecules that contribute to the taste and texture of kefir. As we know get to know more about the microbiology of food, food scientists may be able to streamline production, improve health benefits, and customize the flavors of fermented foods.

So what are these helpful microbes and how do they contribute to the fermentation of kefir? (more…)

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Milky microbes: the making of kefir

Foods containing live active cultures have been touted as beneficial for digestion and immune health. Yogurt, particularly Greek yogurt, has risen to the top of the probiotic trend in recent years. With the uptick of microbiome research and news lately, foods that allegedly improve the gut microbial community has acquired quite a following. Now another fermented milk product named kefir (not to be confused with kaffir lime) is slowly gaining in popularity in our health-conscious world. Though today, many may not know what kefir is or even how to pronounce it ("keh-FEAR"), kefir is sure to attract mainstream attention in the coming years. (more…)

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Yeast on the Rise

Hooray, it's finally (Foodie) Friday!

Since the last Foodie Friday post on sourdough microbes a couple weeks ago, I have been thinking about making my own bread again.

Because I am not taking care of a sourdough starter currently, I made a loaf of bread using Baker's yeast, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae. S. cerevisiae is commonly used as a fermentation agent in bread making and the production of carbon dioxide gas during metabolism by yeast contribute to the leavening and flavor and texture of bread. (more…)

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Sourdough, an incubator for microbial symbiosis

"Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread. Without it, it's flat." - Carmen McRae, jazz musician

History of sourdough

Sourdough bread and other fermented foods have been around for centuries. The oldest leavened bread was excavated in Switzerland, dating from 3500 BCE. However, the oldest evidence of leavening was recorded by the Egyptians possibly when flatbread dough was left out and colonized by wild yeasts and bacteria. Throughout most of human history, sourdough was the source of leavening and the use of baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) did not occur until the 19th century. For more detail about this history of sourdough, visit The Sourdough School. (more…)