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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,

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 fermentation 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 decided 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

North America

Appalachian State University

Auburn University

Central Michigan University

Central Washington University

Colorado State University

Siebel Institute of Technology

Madison Area Technical College (MATC)

Olds College Brewery

Oregon State University

Portland State University

Regis University

San Diego State University

UC Davis

UC San Diego Extension

US Sommeleir Association

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point



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