Fermenters

Most food fermentations are generally classified as being 'non-aseptic' to distinguish them from microbial processes where rigorous hygiene must be ensured, for example, production of antibiotics and vaccines. This is not to say that those practising food fermentations are less than hygienic. The majority of the processes that I describe in this book are carried out in vessels that are subject to rigorous CIP (discussed earlier).

A diversity of fermenter types is employed ranging from the relatively sophisticated cylindroconical vessels in modern brewery operations (see Fig. 2.25) through to the relatively crude set-ups used in some of the indigenous fermentation operations, not the least the fermentation of cocoa. Key issues in all instances are the ability to maintain the required degree of cleanliness, the ability to mix, the ability to regulate temperature and change temperature smoothly and efficiently, the access of oxygen (aeration or oxygenation) and the ability to monitor and control.

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