The biochemical means by which microorganisms metabolize sugars was first studied by Pasteur, Buchner, Schwann, and other early micro-
biologists and biochemists. That food-related sugar fermentations, in particular, had attracted the attention of these scientists was actually quite reasonable. After all, cultured milk products, beer, and wine were industrially-important products whose manufacture depended on fermentation of sugars.Thus, identifying the microorganisms and pathways was essential to understanding how the manufacture of these products could be improved and controlled and spoilage prevented. Metabolism and transport of sugars by lactic acid bacteria and ethanol-producing yeasts will be reviewed in the sections to follow.
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