Preface On Fermentation

Fermented food is a very interesting category of food products. In every ethnic group in the world, there are fermented foods produced from recipes handed down from generation to generation. Such food products play an important role in cultural identity, local economy, and gastronomical delight. The manufacture of some of the more popular fermented food products has been industrialized, while others are still produced at home using traditional methods with little scientific input.

Fermentation changes the initial characteristics of a food into a product that is significantly different but highly acceptable by consumers. Of course, consumer preference for fermented food varies within and between cultures. For example, within the United States, many consumers like pickles although some do not. The trend in North America is toward acceptance and preference of foreign fermented food products. You can find fermented black beans and black bean sauce (Chinese), kimchi (Korean), and jalapeno peppers (Mexican) in almost every major grocery chain in North America.

Although reference books on fermented foods have been in existence for at least 50 years, those with details on the science, technology, and engineering of food fermentation began to appear after 1980. Scientific literature in the past decade has been flooded with new applications of genetic engineering in the fermentation of food products, especially in the dairy field.

This book provides an up-to-date reference for fermented foods and beverages. Almost every book on food fermentation has something not found in others. The Handbook of Food and Beverage Fermentation Technology provides a detailed background of history, microorganisms, quality assurance, and the manufacture of general fermented food products, and discusses the production of seven categories of fermented foods and beverages:

Semisolid dairy products, e.g., sour cream Solid dairy products, e.g., cheese Meat products, e.g., sausages Soy products, e.g., soy sauce Vegetables, e.g., Korean kimchi Cereal foods, e.g., sourdoughs Beverages, e.g., fermented milks

Traditional fermented products are discussed, including yogurt, cheese, sausages, tofu, sauerkraut, sourdoughs, and whiskey. We also present details of the manufacture and quality characteristics of some fermented foods that may not be included in other books in the English language. These include fromage frais, Scandinavian cheeses, fungal sausages, miso, Chinese pickles, African kenkey, and semifermented tea. Although this book has several unique characteristics, many topics are omitted for a variety of reasons, including space limitation, product selection, and the contributors' areas of expertise.

This book is unique in several aspects: it is an updated and comprehensive reference source, it contains topics not covered in similar books, and its contributors include experts from government, industry, and academia worldwide. The book has 47 chapters and is divided into eight parts. It is the cooperative effort of 59 international contributors from 17 countries with expertise in one or more fermented products, led by an editorial team of seven members from three countries. In sum, the approach for this book makes it an essential reference on food fermentation.

The editorial team thanks all the contributors for sharing their experience in their fields of expertise. They are the people who made this book possible. We hope you enjoy and benefit from the fruits of their labor.

We know how hard it is to develop the content of a book. However, we believe that the production of a professional book of this nature is even more difficult. We thank the production team at Marcel Dekker, Inc., and express our appreciation to Ms. Theresa Stockton, coordinator of the entire project.

You are the best judge of the quality of this book.

Lisbeth Meunier-Goddik Ase Solvejg Hansen Jytte Josephsen Wai-Kit Nip Peggy S. Stanfield Fidel Toldra

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