Answer to Question #111442 in Microbiology for Katrina

Question #111442
Provide a comprehensive description of the role microorganisms have in food production.
Expert's answer


  • Citric acid production by fungi
  • Production of enzymes by all microorganisms
  • Production of vinegar by bacteria
  • Lactic acid production by bacteria
  • Ethanol productions by yeasts

Microorganisms are essential for the production of foods such as cheese, yogurt, bread, beer, wine and other fermented foods. Fermentation is one of the methods to preserve food and alter its quality. Yeast, especially Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is used to leaven bread, brew beer and make wine. Certain bacteria, including lactic acid bacteria, are used to make yogurt, cheese, hot sauce, pickles, fermented sausages and dishes. A common effect of these fermentations is that the food product is less hospitable to other microorganisms, including pathogens and spoilage-causing microorganisms, thus extending the food's shelf-life.

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