Sauerkraut Fermentation: Process, Microbiology, Defects and Spoilage | Industrial Microbiology (2023)


In this article we will discuss about the sauerkraut fermentation:- 1. Introduction to Sauerkraut 2. Process for Sauerkraut Fermentation 3. Microbiology of the Sauerkraut Fermentation 4. Defects and Spoilage of Sauerkraut.

Introduction to Sauerkraut:

The use of cabbage (Brassica oleracea) as a food antedates known re­corded history. Sauerkraut, a product resulting from the lactic acid fermen­tation of shredded cabbage, is literally acid (sour) cabbage. The antecedents of sauerkraut differed considerably from that prepared at present. At first the cabbage leaves were dressed with sour wine or vinegar.

Later the cabbage was broken or cut into pieces, packed into containers, and covered with verjuice (the juice expressed from immature apples or grapes), sour wine, or vinegar. Gradually the acid liquids were replaced by salt and a spontaneous fermentation resulted.


One may speculate that sauerkraut manufacture comparable to the method used today developed during the period of 1550 to 1750 A.D. although cabbage has been known and used commonly for about 4000 years. Those readers particularly interested in the historical evolution of the sauerkraut fermentation should consult Pederson (1960, 1979) and Pederson and Albury (1969).

Originally sauerkraut was made only in the home because it provided a means for utilizing fresh cabbage which otherwise would spoil before it could be used Now the commercial production of sauerkraut has become an important food industry. Even so, a significant quantity is still produced in the home, particularly in rural and suburban areas where home vegetable gardens still exist.

Cabbage varieties best suited for growth in the major production areas are used early, midseason, and late types are grown. Varieties formerly used such as Early Flat Dutch, Late Flat Dutch, Early Jersey Wakefield, and others have been replaced in part by new cultivars which have been bred to be well-adapted to mechanical harvesting and at the same time inherently contain less water, thus reducing the generation of in-plant liquid wastes. Mild-flavored, sweet, solid, white-headed cabbage is the choice as it makes a superior kraut.

Process for Sauerkraut Fermentation:

Properly matured sound heads of cabbage are first trimmed to remove the outer green broken or dirty leaves. The cores are cut mechanically by a reversing corer that leaves the core in the head. Then the cabbage is sliced by power-driven, rotary, adjustable knives into long shreds as fine as 0.16 to 0.08 cm (1/16 to 1/32 inches) in thickness.



In general, long, finely cut shreds are preferred, but the thickness is determined by the judgment of the manufacturer. The shredded cabbage (known also as slaw) is then conveyed by belts or by carts to the vats or tanks for salting and fermentation.

Salt plays a primary role in the making of sauerkraut and the concen­trations used are carefully controlled. According to the legal standard of identity the concentration of salt must not be less than 2%, nor more than 3%. As a result most producers use a concentration in the range of 2.25 to 2.5% of salt. Salt is required for several reasons.

It extracts water from the shredded cabbage by osmosis, thus forming the fermentation brine It suppresses the growth of some undesirable bacteria which might cause deterioration of the product and, at the same time, makes conditions favorable for the desirable lactic acid bacteria. Salt also contributes to the flavor of the finished sauerkraut by yielding a proper salt-acid ratio (bal­ance) if the cabbage is properly salted.

The use of too little salt causes softening of the tissue and produces a product lacking m flavor. Too much salt interferes with the natural sequence of lactic acid bacteria, delays fermentation and, depending on the amount of over-salting, may produce a product with a sharp, bitter taste, cause darkening of color, or favor growth of pink yeasts.

Uniform distribution of salt throughout the mass of shredded cabbage cannot be overemphasized. In some factories the slaw is weighed on con­veyor belt lines and the desired amount of salt is sprinkled on the shreds by means of a suitable proportioner as it moves along the conveyor to the vat.

In other plants hand-carts are used to carry the shredded cabbage to the vat. Some prefer to salt the weighed cabbage in each cart. Others transport the slaw in carts which are weighed occasionally to check the capacity. The shreds are then dumped into the vat, distributed by forks, and then salted with a specific weight of salt.

The variations of salt concentrations in the brines covering kraut have been thoroughly investigated by Pederson and Albury (1969) and discussed by Pederson (1975, 1979). No mention of recirculation of the brines to gain uniformity in concentration of salt was noted.

It would seem that this method of ensuring uniform salt distribution in sauerkraut brines would be as effective as it is in the olive industry. Only small alterations in tank or vat design would be required to make it possible to completely recirculate the brine, pumping from the bottom and discharging at the surface.

Brine begins to form once the shreds are salted, and the tank is closed once it has been filled to the proper level. Formerly, the slaw was covered with a thick layer of outer leaves and then fitted with a wood cover (head) which was heavily weighted. Within a few hours the brine had formed and the fermentation had started. The head then was fixed in position in much the same manner as with pickle or olive tanks.


Now, however, a sheet plastic cover is used. This cover is much larger in area than the top of the vat or tank itself. The plastic sheeting is placed firmly against the top of the shredded cabbage with the edges draped over the sides of the container to form an open bag. Then enough water or preferably salt brine is placed in this bag so that the weight of the liquid added forces the cabbage shreds down into the brine until the brine covers the surface of the uppermost shreds. Unless the shreds are completely covered with brine, undesirable discoloration together with undesirable flavor changes will occur. This newer method of covering and weighting provides nearly anaerobic condi­tions, particularly after fermentation becomes acid and quantities of carbon dioxide are produced. Precautions to avoid pin holes or tears in the plastic are mandatory if aerobic yeast growth is to be avoided.

(Video) Sauerkraut

With the old method of closure film forming yeasts always were a problem and if the scum was not removed at intervals a yeasty flavor was imparted to the kraut. Pichia membranaefaciens yeast strains, in particular, voraciously oxidize lactic acid contained in salt brines. Other genera also may be involved and besides destroying acid also contribute to yeasty flavor.

By the time the tank or vat is filled with the salted shreds and weighted, brine has formed and fermentation has started in a sequence of bacterial species responsible for the lactic acid fermentation.

Microbiology of the Sauerkraut Fermentation:

Although the lactic acid fermentation was described by Pasteur in 1858 and much work had been done in the intervening years with various lactic bacteria from cabbage and cucumber fermentations, it was not established that a definite sequence of bacterial species of lactic acid bacteria were responsible for the fermentation of either vegetable until 1930 when Peder­son first described the lactic acid bacteria he observed in fermenting sauer­kraut.


Pederson found that the fermentation was initiated by the species Leuconostoc mesenteroides. This species was followed by gas-forming rods and finally by non-gas-forming rods and cocci. Since 1930 additional studies by Pederson and Albury (1954, 1969) have firmly established the impor­tance of Leuconostoc mesenteroides in initiating the lactic fermentation of sauerkraut.

Also they more closely identified the species and sequence of the other lactic acid bacteria involved. Now it is accepted that the kraut, fermentation is initiated by Leuconostoc mesenteroides, a heterofermentative species, whose early growth is more rapid than other lactic acid bacte­ria and is active over a wide range of temperatures and salt concentrations.

It produces acids and carbon dioxide that rapidly lower the pH, thus inhibit­ing the activity of undesirable microorganisms and enzymes that may soften the shredded cabbage. The carbon dioxide replaces air and creates an anaerobic condition favorable to prevention of oxidation of ascorbic acid and the natural color of the cabbage. Also carbon dioxide stimulates the growth of many lactic acid bacteria. It also may be that this species provides growth factors needed by the more fastidious types found in the fermentation.

While this initial fermentation is developing, the heterofermentative species Lactobacillus brevis and the homofermentative species Lactobacil­lus plantarum and sometimes Pediococcus cerevisiae begin to grow rapidly and contribute to the major end products including lactic acid, carbon dioxide, ethanol, and acetic acid. Minor end products also appear.


These are a variety of additional volatile compounds produced by the various bacteria responsible for the fermentation, by auto-chemical reactions, or the intrin­sic enzymes of the fermenting cabbage itself. Hrdlicka et al (1967) reported the formation of diacetyl and acetaldehyde, the primary carbonyls formed during cabbage fermentation.

(Video) Microbiology Of Butter

Volatile sulfur compounds are major flavor components of fresh cabbage according to Bailey et al. (1961) and Clapp et al. (1959) and also of sauerkraut. However, according to Lee et al. (1976), the major portion of the volatiles of sauerkraut is accounted for by acetal, isoamyl alcohol, n-hexanol, ethyl lactate, cis-hex-3-ene-l-ol, and allyl isothiocyanate. Of these, only the latter two have been identified as major constituents of fresh cabbage.

These latter authors concluded that although these two compounds define the character of cabbage products (kraut) they do not contribute significantly to the determination of its quality. They further believe that the fresh and fruity odor of such compounds as ethyl butyrate, isoamyl acetate, n-hexyl acetate, and mesityl oxide are probably more important in determining the acceptability of sauerkraut.

Temperature is a controlling factor in the sequence of desirable bacteria in the sauerkraut fermentation at a salt concentration of 2.25%. At the optimum of 18.3°C (65°F) or lower the quality of the sauerkraut is generally superior in flavor, color and ascorbic acid content because the hetero­fermentative lactic acid bacteria exert a greater effect.



According to Pederson and Albury (1969) an average temperature of about 18°C (65°F) with a salt concentration of 2.25% may be considered normal in the kraut-producing areas of the United States. At (or near) this temperature, fermentation is initiated by Leuconostoc mesenteroides and continued by Lactobacillus brevis and Lactobacillus plantarum, the latter species being most active in the final stages of fermentation.

Under these conditions a final total acidity of 1.7 to 2.3% acid (calculated as lactic acid) is formed, and the ratio of volatile to nonvolatile acid (acetic/lactic) is about 1 to 4. The fermentation is completed in 1 to 2 months, more or less, depending upon the quantity of fermentable materials, concentration of salt, and fluctuations in temperature.

At higher temperatures, as would be expected, they found that the rate of acid production was faster. For example, at 23°C (73.4°F) a brine acidity of 1.0 to 1.5% (calculated as lactic acid) may be observed in 8 to 10 days and the sauerkraut may be completely fermented in about 1 month.

At a still higher temperature of 32°C (89.6°F), the produc­tion of acid generally is very rapid with acid production of 1.8 to 2.0% being obtained in 8 to 10 days. As the temperature increased, they observed a change in the sequence of lactic acid bacteria. First, the growth of Leuco­nostoc mesenteroides was retarded and Lactobacillus brevis and Lactobacil­lus plantarum dominated the fermentation. At higher temperatures the kraut fermentation became essentially a homofermentation dominated by Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus cerevisiae.

As a result, the quality attributes of flavor and aroma deteriorated and the kraut was reminiscent of acidified cabbage because of the large quantity of lactic acid and little acetic acid produced by the homo-fermentative species. They also observed that sauerkraut fermented at higher temperatures would darken readily and, therefore, should be canned as quickly as possible after the fermenta­tion was completed.

(Video) Vinegar Production 😎😎#industrial biotechnology🤩


An extremely important observation they made was that kraut could be successfully fermented even when started at the low temperature of 7.5°C (45.5°F). Leuconostoc mesenteroides can grow at lower temperatures than the other lactic acid bacteria involved in the fermentation. At this low temperature (7.5°C or 45.5°F) an acidity of 0.4% (as lactic acid) is produced in about 10 days and 0.8 to 0.9% in less than a month.

This amount of acidity coupled with saturation of the mass of kraut and brine with carbon dioxide is sufficient to provide the conditions necessary for preservation and later completion of the fermentation provided that anaerobiosis is maintained throughout the period of latency. When the kraut mass warms enough, the fermentation then is completed by the lactic acid bacteria of the genera Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, known to grow poorly if at all at 7.5°C (45.5°F).

Thus, it may require 6 months or more before the fermentation is completed. Such kraut is generally of superior quality because it remains cool and is not subjected to high temperature during-fermentation. In good commercial practice this variation in temperature permits the processor to maintain a supply of new, completely fermented sauerkraut throughout most of the year.

Precedent for the recommendation by Pederson and Albury that sauer­kraut be fermented at not over 18.3°C (65°F) had already been recorded by Parmele et al. (1927), Marten et al. (1929), and others.

Defects and Spoilage of Sauerkraut:

Abnormalities of sauerkraut, although varied, with few exceptions can be and generally have been avoided by application of scientific knowledge already available to the industry. For example, the simple expedient of providing anaerobiosis has eliminated most of the problems involving dis­coloration (auto-chemical oxidation), loss of acidity caused by growth of, molds and yeasts, off-flavors and odors (yeasty and rancid) caused by exces­sive aerobic growth of molds and yeasts, slimy, softened kraut caused by pectolytic activity of these same molds and yeasts, and pink kraut caused by aerobic growth of asporogenous yeasts, presumably members of the genus Rhodotorula.

Stamer et al. (1973) described the induction of red color in white cabbage juice by L. brevis while studying the effects of pH on the growth rates of the 5 species of lactic acid bacteria commonly associated with the kraut fermen­tation. L. brevis was the only species which produced such color formation in white cabbage juice and did so only when the juice was buffered with either calcium carbonate or sodium hydroxide.


No color development occur­red when the pH of the juice (3.9) was not adjusted or when the pH of the juice was raised to 5.5 and the juice sterilized by filtration before it was re-incubated. Therefore, red color formation was caused by L. brevis and did not arise as the result of chemical or inherent enzymatic reactions of the juice.

It remains to be seen whether this interesting phenomenon will be ob­served in industrial kraut fermentations. Since color induction by L. brevis was found to be pH dependent it seems unlikely to be found in normal kraut fermentations but could easily result from accidental addition of alkali to the shredded cabbage during salting.

(Video) Microbiology of Food Processing

Slimy or ropy kraut has been observed for many years. It is generally caused by dextran formation induced by Leuconostoc mesenteroides and is transitory in nature. This species prefers to ferment fructose rather than glucose. Therefore, in the fermentation of sucrose, the fructose is fermented leaving the glucose which interacts to form the slimy, ropy, water-insoluble dextrans.

These vary from an almost solid, gelatinous mass to a ropy slime surrounding the bacterial cells. These variations are easily demonstrated by growing L. mesenteroides in a 10% sucrose solution containing adequate accessory nutrients. The fermenting kraut may become very slimy during the intermediate stage of fermentation but with additional time the dex­trans are utilized by other lactic acid bacteria. Thus, it is imperative to distinguish between dextran induced slimy kraut and permanently slimy kraut caused by pectolytic activity. The former condition certainly is not a defect but should be considered a normal step in a natural progression.

Related Articles:

  1. Fermentation of Vegetables by Lactic Acid | Microbiology
  2. Sausage Fermentation: Process, Production and Commercial Cultures | Industrial Microbiology


What is the microbiology of the sauerkraut fermentation? ›

Sauerkraut production typically relies on a sequential microbial process that involves hetero- and homofermentative lactic acid bacteria, such as Leuconostoc spp. and Weissella spp. in the early phase and Lactobacillus spp., Lactococcus lactis, and Pediococcus spp. in the subsequent phases.

What is the defect of sauerkraut? ›

The majority of spoilage in sauerkraut is due to aerobic soil micro-organisms which break down the protein and produce undesirable flavour and texture changes. The growth of these aerobes can easily be inhibited by a normal fermentation.

What by product is the result of fermentation in sauerkraut? ›

This fermented vegetable is produced by spontaneous fermentation of cabbage leaves, mainly by lactic acid bacteria [2]. As a result of the fermentation process, the fermenting sugars found in the vegetable are transformed into lactic and acetic acid, ethanol, CO2, mannitol and other compounds [3].

What type of fermentation occurs in sauerkraut? ›

Anaerobically (without oxygen), Lactobacillus plantarum does their job the way we want them to – they cause fermentation of cabbage via lactic acid. Aerobically (with oxygen), it will produce acetic acid (vinegar). Since we're making sauerkraut, oxygen must be avoided.

What microorganisms are involved in the spoilage of sauerkraut? ›

found that Lactobacillus and Leuconostoc species were the primary bacteria in the fermentation of Chinese sauerkraut, pàocài [20]. Numerous studies have shown that the kimchi bacterial community is dominated by Weisella, Lactobacillus, and Leuconostoc species [21,22,23].

What is the main bacteria in sauerkraut? ›

Historically, four species of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been identified as organisms that are present in sauerkraut fermentations: Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus brevis, Pediococcus pentosaceus, and Lactobacillus plantarum.

Does sauerkraut have bad bacteria? ›

Unpasteurized sauerkraut contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that act as the first line of defense against toxins and harmful bacteria. They can also improve your digestion and overall health ( 4 , 7 , 8) .

What is the white mold on fermenting sauerkraut? ›

If you see mold, don't panic! Your sauerkraut is still likely good (it's preserved by the lactic acid produced by Lactobacillus). Mold forms when the cabbage isn't fully submerged under brine or if it's too warm in your kitchen. What you can do here is scoop off the mold and proceed with fermentation.

How much bacteria is in sauerkraut? ›

Bacteria are measured in colony forming units (CFUs). Studies suggest that sauerkraut and other fermented foods contain 1 million to 1 billion CFUs per gram/millilitre. A tablespoon serving of sauerkraut weighs roughly ten grams, which means it could give you between 10 million to 10 billion CFUs.

Why does sauerkraut change color? ›

Over time, a jar of sauerkraut stored in your refrigerator will darken slightly. This is normal and perfectly fine to eat. If instead, there is a brown layer of sauerkraut at the top of the jar, that portion of sauerkraut is oxidized. Air got to that section of sauerkraut and caused it to turn brown.

What 3 products are produced during fermentation? ›

Products of Fermentation

While there are a number of products from fermentation, the most common are ethanol, lactic acid, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen gas (H2). These products are used commercially in foods, vitamins, pharmaceuticals, or as industrial chemicals.

Does fermentation cause spoilage? ›

Foods using vegetable raw materials and sugars are particularly prone to spoilage due to fermentation of yeast and lactic acid bacteria, which produces spots, thinner odor, and acid as well as bag swelling due to carbon dioxide generation, causing odd odor and changes in the taste of food.

What are the steps in the process of making sauerkraut? ›

Making Sauerkraut: Step by Step
  1. Step 1: Weigh, Then Shred Cabbage.
  2. Step 2: Add Salt and Spices, Knead, and Squeeze.
  3. Step 3: Weight It Down.
  4. Step 4: Add Extra Brine, if Necessary.
  5. Step 5: Seal and Store in a Cool, Dark Place.
  6. Step 6: Wait, Then Eat.

Where do the bacteria come from that make the sauerkraut? ›

The bacteria don't even need to be added to the sauerkraut, as they live naturally on the cabbage leaves. All that is required to start the process off is shredded cabbage and salt.

What are the 3 main microorganisms that cause food spoilage? ›

Organisms that cause food spoilage–molds, yeasts and bacteria–are present everywhere in the air, soil and water. Enzymes that may cause undesirable changes in flavor, color and texture are present in raw vegetables.

What are three microbial spoilage? ›

Microorganisms that typically grow on and eventually spoil whole fresh produce include Enterobacteriaceae, pseudomonads, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, and molds.

Which bacteria is responsible for spoilage? ›

The predominant bacteria associated with spoilage are Brochothrix thermosphacta, Carnobacterium spp., Lactobacillus spp., Lactococcus spp., Leuconostoc spp., Pediococcus spp., Stretococcus spp., Kurthia zopfii, and Weisella spp.

What kills the probiotics in sauerkraut? ›

Does cooking destroy sauerkraut's probiotics? Using sauerkraut in recipes is delicious, but the heat used in cooking sauerkraut will kill probiotics. If you do cook your sauerkraut, serve a bit extra as a raw side dish or condiment to reap the most benefit!

What diseases does sauerkraut prevent? ›

Because fermented cabbage is high in folate, it provides multiple benefits. Hearing loss related to age and gum disease may be prevented. And, the risk of heart disease and stroke are lowered. Folate is needed for cell division and DNA production, too.

Is sauerkraut fermentation safe? ›

There are no dangers associated with fermented vegetables. Many people are afraid to start fermenting vegetables for fear of food poisoning. However, lacto-fermentation is a simple way of preserving vegetables without the risk of poisoning.

How do you know if fermentation is bad? ›

A spoiled ferment will smell rancid, like rotting broccoli. A good ferment will have a pleasant sour smell. Note: If there's Kahm Yeast present it may have a strong smell, but once scraped away it should have a pleasant sour smell if it's not spoiled. A spoiled ferment may be slimy in texture.

Why do you put vinegar in sauerkraut? ›

A quick way to sour a vegetable.

Adding vinegar to your vegetable ferment gives it an instant sour tang. With time, lacto-fermentation develops that same tang by the growth of the lactic-acid bacteria that create lactic acid to preserve and add tang to your ferment.

Why do you rinse sauerkraut? ›

Sauerkraut is naturally sour and salty and once you try to remove these qualities it stops being sauerkraut. Commercially produced sauerkraut (especially sold in jars and cans) can, however, be a little too salty which is why you may want to rinse it briefly before using it.

What can go wrong with fermentation? ›

Botulism, E. coli and salmonella are the main hazards for fermented foods. Botulism can form in oxygen-free conditions if a fermentation is not successful and acid levels are too low.

What is the white stuff in my fermentation? ›

One of the most common visible contaminations is a white, cloudy substance called Kahm Yeast. While Kahm yeast isn't harmful it can indicate that there is a problem with your ferment. Kahm yeast is actually safe to eat as long as there are no molds present and the ferment tests at a pH of 4 or lower.

What are the white worms in fermentation? ›

Have you ever noticed small, white worms in your kombucha? These creatures are called vinegar eels, and while they may look unappetizing, they are harmless. Download our Kombucha Guide book today to learn more about kombucha's fermentation process!

What temperature is best for fermenting sauerkraut? ›

Fermentation Temperature, Time, and Management

Store the container at 70 to 75°F while fermenting. At these temperatures, sauerkraut will be fully fermented in about three to four weeks; at 60 to 65°F, fermentation may take six weeks. Below 60°F, sauerkraut may not ferment.

What is the pH of sauerkraut? ›

Fermented sauerkraut exhibits pH at around 3.5 and will keep in cool conditions for a very long time, as long as this pH level is maintained. Cabbage should contain up to 3.5% sugar. The sweeter raw cabbage is the better sauerkraut will be obtained.

Does canning destroy probiotics in sauerkraut? ›

Cons of Canning Sauerkraut

However, the heat involved in canning destroys any probiotic benefits of your sauerkraut. Canning: Kills beneficial bacteria. The benefits of probiotics are lost when fermented sauerkraut is heated above 106° F (41.1° C).

What happens if you don't rinse sauerkraut? ›

Most canned sauerkraut comes in brine (usually salt and water), so you don't have to rinse it before you strain it. Not rinsing it helps preserve the flavor in canned sauerkraut. However, if you prefer milder-tasting sauerkraut you can rinse it with water before the straining process.

Does fermenting sauerkraut need to be in the dark? ›

Store the jar out of direct sunlight in a cool place (55-75 F) to ferment for 4-14 days. Dark is best, but don't forget about it. If you keep your jar on the kitchen counter, cover with a kitchen towel.

Does all sauerkraut have good bacteria? ›

Sauerkraut has become one of the most popular fermented foods to eat as part of a probiotic diet. But there's a caveat. Not all sauerkraut products are the same. Indeed, it's very likely that imported, mass-produced, pasteurised sauerkraut may have little, or no, probiotic bacteria at all!

What factors can affect the fermentation process? ›

Temperature, pH, aeration, substrate concentration, and nutrient availability all influence the fermentation process and metabolic processes.

What are the 4 steps of fermentation? ›

The fermentation process consists of four stages. The four stages are: (1) Inoculum Preservation (2) Inoculum Build-up (3) Pre-Fermenter Culture and (4) Production Fermentation. A classification, based on the product formation in relation to energy metabolism is briefly discussed below (Fig.

What is the major end product of fermentation? ›

The end products of fermentation are alcohol and carbon dioxide.

How can we prevent spoilage during fermentation? ›

In such fermented foods, the growth of pathogens is often prevented by adding large amounts of salt. Pickling is an effective way to preserve vegetables for a long time, but to prevent spoilage, a large amount of salt is added or enough lactic acid bacteria are grown to make the environment acidic at a pH of about 4.

How do bacteria spoil food by fermentation? ›

Fermented Foods and Beverages

Beer and wine (pH 4-5) can be spoiled by yeasts and bacteria. Bacteria involved are primarily lactic acid bacteria like lactobacilli and Pediococcus spp., and (under aerobic conditions) acetic acid bacteria like Acetobacter and Gluconobacter spp.

What are four causes of spoilage? ›

Various factors cause food spoilage, making items unsuitable for consumption. Light, oxygen, heat, humidity, temperature and spoilage bacteria can all affect both safety and quality of perishable foods.

What are reactions to sauerkraut? ›

Although sauerkraut is generally healthy, there may be some risks to consider. Histamine intolerance. Sauerkraut is high in histamine, which can be responsible for digestive issues and allergy-like symptoms in some people. It's possible that eating sauerkraut could cause or worsen these reactions.

Does sauerkraut need oxygen to ferment? ›

Fermenting is anaerobic, meaning without oxygen. (Although confusingly, some foods are actually fermented with oxygen, such as vinegar.) In my experience of making sauerkraut, this “without oxygen” rule doesn't need to be absolute.

Does sauerkraut need air to ferment? ›

Pack tightly and cover the cabbage

Once the cabbage and salt mixture is packed tightly into a suitable container, it's essential that you cover the cabbage and liquid to exclude air since the fermentation process requires an anaerobic (air-tight) condition.

What is the majority causes of spoilage in sauerkraut? ›

The majority of spoilage in sauerkraut is due to aerobic soil micro-organisms which break down the protein and produce undesirable flavour and texture changes. The growth of these aerobes can easily be inhibited by a normal fermentation.

What is the microbiology of sauerkraut fermentation? ›

Sauerkraut production typically relies on a sequential microbial process that involves hetero- and homofermentative lactic acid bacteria, such as Leuconostoc spp. and Weissella spp. in the early phase and Lactobacillus spp., Lactococcus lactis, and Pediococcus spp. in the subsequent phases.

What is the microbiology of fermentation? ›

Microbial fermentation is a biochemical process that manages to extract chemical energy from carbohydrates without the oxygen. This chemical reaction occurs in bacteria, yeasts or even in muscles of humans. More than ten thousand years ago, humans began to use microbial fermentation to refine and preserve food.

What is the process of fermentation in microbiology? ›

Fermentation is an anaerobic pathway- a common pathway in the majority of prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes. In this process, glucose is partially oxidised to form acids and alcohol. In organisms like yeast, the pyruvic acid formed by partial oxidation of glucose is converted to ethanol and carbon dioxide (CO2).

What is fermentation explain in microbiology? ›

Fermentation is a process in which sugars are transformed into a new product through chemical reactions carried out by microorganisms. Since ancient times, humans have taken advantage of the natural fermentation process to develop many products, including foods, medicines, and fuels.

What does fermentation do in microbiology? ›

Fermentation is a process that helps break down large organic molecules via the action of microorganisms into simpler ones. For example, yeast enzymes convert sugars and starches into alcohol, while proteins are converted to peptides/amino acids.

What are the two types of fermentation microbiology? ›

There are two types of fermentation, alcoholic fermentation and lactic acid fermentation.

What are 3 microorganisms that cause fermentation? ›

Table 1
Type of FermentationMicroorganisms Involved
Alcohol fermentationYeasts
Lactic acid (homofermentation)Lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus spp. etc.)
Lactic acid (heterofermentation)Lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus spp. etc.)
Butyric acidClostridium spp., Butyrivibrio spp., Bacillus spp. and other anaerobes
3 more rows

What bacteria grows in fermentation? ›

Among bacteria associated with fermented foods and alcoholic beverages, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) mostly species of Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Pediococcus, Weissella, etc.

What causes fermentation microbiology? ›

Fermentation occurs in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic conditions), and in the presence of beneficial microorganisms (yeasts, molds, and bacteria) that obtain their energy through fermentation.

What are the step by step processes of fermentation? ›

It is a three-step process. First, glucose is oxidized by glycolysis, producing two pyruvate molecules. Second, each pyruvate releases carbon dioxide to produce acetaldehyde. Third, acetaldehyde takes the hydrogen ions from NADH, consequently producing ethanol and converting NADH back to NAD+.

What happens in fermentation process? ›

Fermentation is the process of sugars being broken down by enzymes of microorganisms in the absence of oxygen. Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi have unique sets of metabolic genes, allowing them to produce enzymes to break down distinct types of sugar metabolites.

What are the 4 phases of fermentation? ›

The fermentation process consists of four stages. The four stages are: (1) Inoculum Preservation (2) Inoculum Build-up (3) Pre-Fermenter Culture and (4) Production Fermentation.

What is the short answer for fermentation? ›

Fermentation is an anaerobic process in which energy can be released from glucose even if oxygen is not available. Fermentation occurs in yeast cells and bacteria and also in the muscles of animals. It is an anaerobic pathway in which glucose is broken down.


1. Microbiology of bread | basics of bread making | food microbiology
(Bio Competent)
2. Lecture 30 : Vinegar production
(Industrial Biotechnology)
3. Fermentative Food Microbiome
(American Society for Microbiology)
4. “What is a fermented food?” EATLAC webinar series: The science of fermentation
(Erin DiCaprio)
5. Food fermentations -Part V- Fermented Vegetables
(Dhanus Micro Classes)
6. Industrial Microbiology Part 1


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Last Updated: 08/09/2023

Views: 5914

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Birthday: 1993-07-01

Address: Suite 763 6272 Lang Bypass, New Xochitlport, VT 72704-3308

Phone: +22014484519944

Job: Banking Officer

Hobby: Sailing, Gaming, Basketball, Calligraphy, Mycology, Astronomy, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Rev. Leonie Wyman, I am a colorful, tasty, splendid, fair, witty, gorgeous, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.