Fermented foods and beverages are one of the indispensable components of the dietary culture of every community in the world. Traditional fermentation, smoking, drying, and salting processes were developed, by ancient people to preserve foods for consumption, which were marketable in the food culture history of human beings. Wine, was believed to be made in the Caucasus and Mesopotamia, as early as 6000 BC and the colonization by Romans spread wine making, all over the Mediterranean. The antiquity of Chinese foods and cuisines has been documented by several historians, as far back as 4000 BC based on historical evidence. The ancient monuments of Nepal indicate, that Himalayan ethnic foods have been consumed in the region for more than 2500 years. Food prepared by different communities is unique and distinct due to the geographical location, environment factors, food preference, and the availability of plant or animal sources. Approximately 50-400 gram per capita of fermented foods and alcoholic beverages are consumed daily worldwide, representing about 5%-40% of the total daily food intake. Low-cost, high-value, and socially and culturally acceptable fermented foods and beverages are consumed as staple foods, curries, stews, side-dishes, fried foods, cooked foods, pastes, seasonings, condiments, pickles, confectioneries, salads, soups, desserts, drinks, candied foods, masticators, colorants, tastemakers, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. About 5000 varieties of unlisted major and minor fermented foods and beverages are prepared and consumed by billions of people, belonging to different communities and ethnicities across the world.
Fermented foods and beverage harbor, diverse micro-organisms from the environment, which include mycelial molds; yeasts and bacteria, mostly lactic acid bacteria, bacilli, and micrococci. Micro-organisms transform the chemical constituents of raw materials during fermentation and enhance the nutritive value of the products; enrich balanced diets with improved flavour and texture; preserve perishable foods; fortify products with essential amino-acids, health-promoting bio-active compounds, vitamins, and minerals; degrade undesirable compounds and anti-nutritive factors; impart antioxidant and antimicrobial properties; improve digestibility and stimulate probiotic functions. Most of the ethnic fermented foods and beverages are produced by natural fermentation, except the alcoholic beverages in Asia, which are produced by using a consortium of micro-organisms in the form of a dry, cereal based starter. Diversity within the species or strains of several functional genera of dominant micro-organisms has created, ethnic foods with different sensory characteristics.
This book has 7 chapters covering the description of products; culinary practices; and the microbiology, biochemistry, nutrition and functional properties of different categories of fermented foods and beverages of the world; fermented vegetables, fermented soybeans and non-soybean legumes, fermented cereals, fermented milks, fermented / dried / smoked fish, fermented / dried / smoked meats, fermented root/tuber products, fermented beverages and alcoholic drinks, Water treatment technology and miscellaneous fermented products including vinegar, tea, coffee, cacoa, etc. There is a complete chapter devoted to the dietary culture of antiquity of fermented foods and beverages of the world.
I. Vegetables Fermentation
II. Cereal and Legume Based Fermented Foods
IV. Non Alcoholic Beverages
V. Alcoholic Beverages
VI. Fermented Fish, Meat and Dairy Products
VII. Fermented Root / Tuber