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Linda Hall Library
Science, Engineering & Technology Information for the World

Fermentation Science: Welcome

The Science:

"Strictly speaking, the term "fermentation" relates to anaerobic energy metabolism only. The word is derived from the Latin "fermentare" (to cause to rise), reflecting the foaming that occurs during the preparation of wine and beer."                                                                                                                                - from Food Fermentation, edited by Rob M.J. Nout, Willem, M. de Vos, and Marcel H. Zwietering

Fermentation science, or zymology, is the study of zymurgy, the applied science of fermentation which deals with the biochemical processes in fermentation, yeast & bacteria selection and physiology, and of course, the application of this science by way of fermented foods, dairies, and beverages (ie: distilling, wine making, brewing, and the fermenting of various foods).

One of the oldest forms of food processing known today, the fermentation process can occur in both plant and animal based products, so many of mankind's favorite food and beverages, such as beer, wine, bread, sausages, and various sauces & marinades, exist due to fermentation.

There are several different types of fermentations that can occur in food and liquids: alcoholic fermentation, acetic acid fermentation, and lactic acid fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation is possibly the most well known of the three types, its byproducts having been enjoyed by human civilization for millennia. Acetic acid fermentation is the process that begins where alcoholic fermentation ends. The most common result of this fermentation process is vinegar. Lactic acid fermentation is probably the oldest and most important fermentation method. 
Whether from naturally occurring microorganisms & enzymes, or manmade processes using starters, consumers rely on fermentation to achieve characteristics that can be devided into three categories: appeal, utility, and functionality.

  • Appeal: the physical traits of the products: taste, smell, texture, & exterior (appearance). 
  • Utilityreferring to the process of creating or using the products: lengthening the shelf-life, reducing the bulk volume, improving how the product retains nutrients, lengthening cook time, and the usefulness of the product's by-products, or "waste," as a food product
  • Functionalitythe general acceptance of the food by consumers: food safety, the product's health & physiologic impact upon the consumer, probiotic effects, and digestibility.

Educational Programs & Organizations

click the link to be taken to the program's webpage

North America

Appalachian State University
* Brewing Short Course
* Bachelor of Science Program

Auburn University
*Graduate Certificate: Brewing Science & Operations

Central Michigan University
*Certificate of Fermentation Science

Central Washington University
*Craft Beer Trade Certificate

Colorado State University
*Beverage Business Institute

Doemens Academy/Siebel Institute of Technology
* World Brewing Academy

Madison Area Technical College (MATC)
*Craft Brewing Certification

Olds College Brewery
*Brewmaster & Brewery Operations Management

Oregon State University
* Food Technology Bachelor’s: Fermentation Science

Portland State University
*Business of Craft Brewing

Regis University
*Certificate in Applied Craft Brewing

San Diego State University
Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer

UC Davis
* Food Science and Technology

UC San Diego Extension
*Professional Certificate in Brewing

US Sommeleir Association
*Certificate Immersion Course

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point: *Microbiology for Brewers
 

International

Brewlab

Campden BRI:
*Brewing & Malting Courses
*Wine & Spirits Courses

Heriot-Watt University
* International Center for Brewing and Distilling

Institute of Brewing & Distilling

Niagara College
*Teaching Brewery
*Brewmaster & Brewery Operations

The Scandinavian School of Brewing

VLB Berlin
* Brewmaster Course
* Craft Brewing in Practice
*Micro Malting in Practice
*Applied Microbiology Workshop

Technische Universitat Munchen
*B.S. and M.S. in Brewing and Beverage Technology

Bibliographer

Michelle Lahey
Contact:
800.662.1545 x776
816.926.8776

Reference Assistance

Linda Hall Library Research Specialists are available all hours that the Library is open.  9-5 Central Time, Monday through Friday.

Call: 800.662.1545 or 816.363.4600

Email us at reference@lindahall.org  or use the Reference Request Form.