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Microbes in cheeses, beers, yogurts, breads manufacturing...


Externet
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Greetings.

Seems that maaaany types of microbes, bacterias, molds, cultures, yeasts produce maaaany flavors and types on products we consume.

Are those interchangeable; like a certain microbe that makes a cheese can make -say soybeans- fermenting to obtain a certain flavor/texture/whatever ?

Or a Camembert bacteria (or any other) cannot be used to ferment grain for alcohol production ?

 

How does it work ?  Am I wrongly mixing yeasts, bacterias... in the question, and must be dealt separately ?   Like using the something yogurt bacteria to produce a way different grain fermentation for obtaining a unique bread... 🥴

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Not any kind of expert here but I note that bread and booze are yeast based and whilst they can be interchangeable the bread yeasts are selected for high CO2 production, so bread rises, whilst brewer's yeast is selected for alcohol production as well as some CO2 for the fizz. Even so, some bacterial fermentation appears to be involved as well. Mostly they are considered a problem - including by turning alcohol into vinegar.

Yoghurt is bacterial and whilst it produces CO2 the cultures used don't appear great for making alcohol, so maybe not so good for making booze. Some bacteria do make alcohol but I am not aware of any beverages that are primarily fermented with bacteria.

Kombucha is apparently a combination of both yeasts and bacteria. Some fermented foods make do with natural bacteria and yeasts, without adding any specific starter.

Edited by Ken Fabian
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Not an expert either, and while I love both, wine and cheese, I only know a little about wine yeasts.
There are 'standard' varieties used by winemakers, as well as wild, or native, varieties which add nuances to that particular wine.
This explainssome of those differences in greater detail

Yeast in winemaking - Wikipedia

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  • 3 months later...
On 7/4/2021 at 2:02 PM, Externet said:

Greetings.

Seems that maaaany types of microbes, bacterias, molds, cultures, yeasts produce maaaany flavors and types on products we consume.

Are those interchangeable; like a certain microbe that makes a cheese can make -say soybeans- fermenting to obtain a certain flavor/texture/whatever ?

Or a Camembert bacteria (or any other) cannot be used to ferment grain for alcohol production ?

 

How does it work ?  Am I wrongly mixing yeasts, bacterias... in the question, and must be dealt separately ?   Like using the something yogurt bacteria to produce a way different grain fermentation for obtaining a unique bread... 🥴

Ken Fabian has addressed the major differences between yeasts and bacteria and as MigL mentioned, you can use different types of yeasts. Beside potentially different metabolites, which could affect flavour, they also have different alchohol tolerance and can result in different alcohol contents.

Many bacteria in dairy products are used for lactic acid, but also acetic acid fermentation  and different cultures can result in different products (there are whole books dedicated to that). There are many species including various Streptococcus, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species in use. But there are also products which uses yeast and bacteria, such as kefir. Here, the yeast species (e.g. Kluvyeromyces) are also fermenting lactose together with the bacterial consortium.

That being said, historically these consortia were not specifically added individually. Rather, these bacteria and yeasts were found naturally in the product that were used for fermentation. Sourdough is something that many of us have been doing over the last year and is basically a mix of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts and most of these are already present in flour. Interestingly, some of those bacteria are also more specific to our hands, which indicates that the sourdough culture is a mix of predominantly bacterial contamination of flour plus additional bacteria we carry over on our skin.

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On 7/4/2021 at 9:02 PM, Externet said:

Greetings.

Seems that maaaany types of microbes, bacterias, molds, cultures, yeasts produce maaaany flavors and types on products we consume.

Are those interchangeable; like a certain microbe that makes a cheese can make -say soybeans- fermenting to obtain a certain flavor/texture/whatever ?

Or a Camembert bacteria (or any other) cannot be used to ferment grain for alcohol production ?

 

How does it work ?  Am I wrongly mixing yeasts, bacterias... in the question, and must be dealt separately ?   Like using the something yogurt bacteria to produce a way different grain fermentation for obtaining a unique bread... 🥴

My understanding is that in general they are all different combinations. For instance camembert requires both bacteria and a particular penicillium mould (a fungus) to develop its characteristic flavour, rind and texture.

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3 hours ago, MigL said:

Sometimes cheeses are not solely fermented with yeasts and bacteria ...

Casu martzu - Wikipedia

but with live parasites.

It has been illegal since the 60s, but that has only made it more of a 'delicacy'.
My great grandfather used to love the stuff, and yes, I've tried it.

So technically that is not considered fermentation as the larvae actively digested. While in common usage it may not appear very different, biologically they are distinct processes. Most specifically, fermentative pathways are used to recover reducing equivalents (which otherwise could be recovered by respiration). I do see some confusion of the term in the literature sometimes, though.

Typically organisms with very effective anaerobic metabolic pathways are used for fermentation (so practically fungi and bacteria). While in other organisms there are residual pathways (say, lactic acid fermentation in muscles) but it is obviously difficult to utilize that to make yoghurt. 

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