Fermentation has been a part of Asian cuisine for centuries, with traditional fermented foods such as pickled vegetables, soy sauce, bean paste, and vinegar being staples in Chinese cuisine. This ancient practice dates back to 7000 BC in China and is still used today to preserve food and add flavor. But fermentation is more than just a culinary technique; it also has many health benefits. In this article, we'll explore the role of fermentation in Asian cuisine, its health benefits, and the current measures and perspectives for traditional fermented foods. Fermentation is a process in which bacteria consume the sugars and carbohydrates in food, converting them into acids, carbon dioxide, and alcohol.
This preserves the food and adds flavor. Eating fermented foods is believed to be part of a healthy diet as it stimulates the growth of probiotics, which are beneficial for the human digestive system. In Southeast Asia, fermentation has been used for centuries to produce food that is now famous all over the world. To ensure quality and safety while preserving typicality, current measures include detecting functional bacteria and causative bacteria, developing food safety strategies, researching new antimicrobial compounds, creating more sustainable fermentations, and valorizing by-products.
Organic acids and alcohol are part of the composition of fermented products and cannot be changed, but other compounds can be used to improve food safety. Lactic acid bacteria play an important role in non-dairy fermented food products in Asia and have nutritional and physiological functions in the Asian diet. Supported by a local food system, fermentation can help improve shelf life, reduce losses, and improve food safety. The Tropical Fermentation and Biotechnology Network approach is one way to increase quality and safety while avoiding unsustainable globalization processes that cause a loss of typicality.
In conclusion, fermentation is an important part of Asian cuisine, providing unique flavors and health benefits. Current measures are being taken to ensure quality and safety while preserving typicality. With the right approach, fermentation can help improve shelf life, reduce losses, and improve food safety.