What is fermentation?


Where does fermentation come from?

Fermentation has long been a part of human history. Fermentation is an ancient technique for preserving food that is said to have originated in Asia and dates back to thousands of years before our modern era. According to some sources, it was the ruler of Mongolia, Genghis Khan, who brought the fermentation method with him to Europe in the 13th century.

What happens when you ferment?

The fermentation itself covers the process where living microorganisms in the form of lactic acid bacteria and yeast cells convert the sugar in a given food into lactic acid, acetic acid and carbon dioxide. It occurs under oxygen-free (anaerobic) or nearly oxygen-free conditions.

When you ferment, you extend the longevity of a produce while at the same time developing the taste, and you thereby avoid the fruit or vegetable losing its flavor and nutritional value. In fact, some (at least us here at Hakkō) believe that the fermentation process often gives the produce a better and more complex taste. Therefore fermentation is one of the most effective and safe ways of preserving fruits and vegetables.

What is good about fermentation?

There are several health benefits of bringing fermented foods and ingredients into your meals. Fermentation increases the release of vitamins and minerals as the lactic acid bacteria break down the plant cells in fruit and vegetables, which makes the vitamins more easily absorbed in your gut. Additionally, some studies have shown that fermented food can help boost your immune system. Also, adding more fermented ingredients to your meals is also a good way to bring more umami and power into the taste experience. A large part of the raw materials we eat on a daily basis are actually already fermented, here we are talking, for example, coffee, fermented milk products, soy, beer, wine, cider, cheese and many more.

How can fermentation be used to reduce food waste?

Fermenting food can be a helpful factor in reducing your food waste. If you often find that you don't always get to eat all the fruit or vegetables in your shopping basket, you can avoid them all going to waste by fermenting some of them. That way, you can avoid having old and "boring" fruit or vegetables in the fridge that would have ended up in the bin anyway. Instead, you get a tasty stock of fermented vegetables that can be drawn on for months. Here at Hakko, we have taken the fermentation of excess fruits and vegetables to a new level. We have built a production facility that enables us to transform virtually all excess and unwanted fruit and vegetables into new, tasty, and freaking amazing food products.