Fermentation Scholarship Video by Mary Morran
The UNL Food Science and Technology Department asked incoming students to prepare a fermented food product using special fermentation jars developed by ChouAmi. Watch this video created by winning participant Mary Morran, as she talks about her product and the science behind fermentation.
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[00:00:03.490]First, let's talk about what fermentation is.
[00:00:05.830]The dictionary defines it as the chemical decomposition
[00:00:09.040]in organic compounds, exposed to a ferment,
[00:00:11.210]such as bacteria or yeast.
[00:00:13.430]Popular fermented foods include wine and pickles.
[00:00:16.540]However, the fermentative processes
[00:00:18.640]of these two foods are a bit different.
[00:00:20.540]In wine the sugars in the grapes are changed
[00:00:23.510]by yeast and to alcohol and CO2.
[00:00:26.460]But in cucumbers, the lactic acid bacteria
[00:00:31.550]or Lactobacillales turn sugars into lactic acid.
[00:00:36.090]Lactic acid bacteria can be found right
[00:00:38.180]on human skin, fruit skin or vegetable skin.
[00:00:41.380]But these places we can also find E. Coli,
[00:00:44.360]Salmonella and C. Botulinum.
[00:00:46.350]That's why proper fermentation environment is important.
[00:00:49.170]I chose to ferment green beans as their low sugar
[00:00:51.370]content would make them unlike to turn into alcohol.
[00:00:54.210]Their sturdiness would allow them to stand
[00:00:55.770]up to the fermentation process and because generally
[00:00:57.870]I believe their flavor could be improved.
[00:00:59.700]These organic ingredients needed only light rinsing
[00:01:02.040]allowing their natural lactic acid bacteria to be preserved.
[00:01:05.930]Next, I set my jar on the scale.
[00:01:07.560]Tared it and added my green beans,
[00:01:09.140]three garlic cloves, lemon zest,
[00:01:10.720]black pepper, red pepper, and rosemary.
[00:01:13.120]I then felt the remaining space
[00:01:14.430]with watered filter, so as to avoid
[00:01:16.300]any bacteria killing additives, found in much tap water.
[00:01:19.830]I then calculated 2% of the weight of the water
[00:01:22.270]and ingredients and weight out that amount of salt.
[00:01:24.710]Then I poured out the water, stirred
[00:01:26.530]in the salt and added it back to the jar,
[00:01:28.820]making a salty, acidic environment livable
[00:01:31.530]for lactic acid bacteria, but harmful to pathogens.
[00:01:35.010]Next I assembled the lid to my ferment set up.
[00:01:37.580]The spring feature keeps the food submerge so they're
[00:01:39.890]in anaerobic environment, which is fine
[00:01:41.870]for our target bacteria, but detrimental to bad growth.
[00:01:44.880]The mountain cap also allow any CO2 buildup to exit.
[00:01:50.870]Next, I waited for our lactic acid bacteria
[00:01:53.770]to transform the beans.
[00:01:55.430]Meanwhile, let's discuss the compounds
[00:01:56.950]and benefits produced by lactic acid fermentation.
[00:01:59.050]Lactic acid obviously produced,
[00:02:00.870]preserves the food and gives it tangy flavors.
[00:02:03.060]Fermentation can also produce phenolic compounds, peptides
[00:02:06.330]and folates that are responsible for antioxidant activity.
[00:02:08.960]Additionally, it can increase vitamin K
[00:02:11.625]which helps with blood clots.
[00:02:13.300]Consuming foods rich in lactic acid bacteria
[00:02:15.500]can improve lactose digestion, ameliorate bowel issues,
[00:02:18.810]and increase B lymphocyte levels,
[00:02:20.920]which are part of the immune system.
[00:02:22.890]Back to the project, this is how the green beans looked
[00:02:25.030]after fermenting about six days at 72 degrees.
[00:02:32.780]Then I tasted the green beans, which had a nice crunch
[00:02:36.060]great umami tones, and a hint of lemon.
[00:02:38.640]I really enjoyed them and learning
[00:02:40.370]about the fermentative process.
[00:02:43.120]I'm already planning a new project, a fermented salsa.
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