Glucose and the Commercial Uses of Fermentation

High School ・Biology ・MLA ・3 Sources

The essence of fermentation

Animals and humans both use fermentation of food, one way or another. Fermentation is important to humans. It takes place in the absence of oxygen thereby facilitating the breakdown of glucose to two molecules of adenosine triphosphate (2ATP) by anaerobic bacteria (Grotkjaer 512). ATP molecules serve as a source of energy and they are used to carry out processes of life. In lactic acid fermentation, oxygen is in low concentration and the organisms must survive. So, these organisms get their energy from the glucose that has been broken-down or vice versa (Grotkjaer 531).

Types of Fermentation

Under anaerobic conditions, different fermentation processes are taking place. The process mostly takes place in the saprophytic microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria (Grotkjaer 517). Even so, under certain conditions, fermentation may be seen in higher organisms. The commonly known types of fermentation in biology include the lactic acid fermentation and the alcoholic fermentation. In the latter, the final product of the process usually is ethyl alcohol. This type of fermentation is usually experienced in the unicellular fungus such as the yeast (Abdel-Rahman et al. 881). However, it can also occur in some bacteria. In alcoholic type of processing, the cells of the yeast release the zymase complex enzyme, which leads to fermentation (Abdel-Rahman et al. 884). It is imperative to add to the account that the reactions leading to completion of this process are similar to those in anaerobic respiration. Some of the key benefits of the alcoholic fermentation include the manufacture of industrial alcohol, tanning of leather, and not being limited to bakery production.

The other type of fermentation is the lactic acid fermentation, where lactic acid is produced as the final product. Bacteria such as the lactic acid aid in the process of lactic acid fermentation (Abdel-Rahman et al. 887). The process of glycolysis in animals also leads to the formation of the lactic acid. Biological research has shown that lactic acid bacteria can be used extracellularly in fermenting milk sugar lactose to end up with a lactic acid (Grotkjaer 524). Thus, this type of fermentation is necessary for the manufacture of such acids as lactic, acetic as well as butric.

Importance of Fermentation in Commercial Production of Yogurt

Fermentation results in the making of highly useful products. The microbial activity in the absence of oxygen can be used to manufacture yogurt on a large scale. It is important to note that the fermentation process does not only help people to produce food, but also acts as a source of employment to many workers who are occupied in the fermentation companies. Being one of the products of lactic acid fermentation, yogurt is manufactured by the bacterial fermentation of milk (Singh and Kim 85). Fermentation of lactose by the “yogurt cultures” bacteria gives rise to lactic acid, which is mixed with the milk protein to give yogurt its characteristic tart flavor and texture (Singh and Kim 86). The main reason why yogurt is made through lactic acid fermentation is that it is the only way through which the anaerobic bacteria in milk can convert the glucose into the milk to produce two molecules of the adenosine triphosphate, which is used during the fermentation process (Singh and Kim 88). In other words, only the lactic acid produced during the lactic acid fermentation can change milk into the yogurt.

Works Cited

Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed Ali, Yukihiro Tashiro, and Kenji Sonomoto. “Recent Advances in Lactic Acid Production by Microbial Fermentation Processes.” Biotechnology Advances, vol. 31, no. 6, 2013, pp. 877-902.

Grotkjaer, Thomas. “Commercial Development of Fermentation Processes.” In John Villadsen et al., eds., Fundamental Bioengineering (pp. 499-545). Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.

Singh, Mukti, and Sanghoom Kim. “Yogurt Fermentation in the Presence of Starch-Lipid Composite.” Journal of Food Science, vol. 74, no. 2, 2009, pp. 85-89.

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