Food grown in vats

Rafael Garcia rag10 at cornell.edu
Mon Jul 29 20:56:40 EST 1996

>One last thing to note
> is that cultured foods like wine, mushrooms, cheese, and sourkraut are
> not grown to increase the nutritional value of food.  They are grown
> because they taste good.
 	I agree with your answer except for the above statement.  We have
acquired a taste for many fermented foods but these foods did not develop
to satisfy a taste craving.  For example, in pre-refrigeration days milk
had a VERY short shelf life.  Cheese and other fermented milk products
allow the nutrition in milk to be stored in a microbiologically stable and
edible form over a long period of time. 
	The tempe fermentation (by fungus Oligosporus oryzae and others)
transforms marginally edible substances (tofu production by-products,
presscake from oil production, ect.) into desirable food.  
	Grape juice could hardly be prevented from fermenting into wine before
modern sterilization and packaging.  Beyond that, I think early many
produced wine more for its intoxicating effect that for its taste.
	There are some studies that show both positive and negative effects of
fermentation on foods.  I don't know many details, but Keith Steinkraus has
published some interesting papers on the subject.  I could find specific
references for anyone who is interested.
	I am interested in discussing fermentation of food or food by-products
with anyone, anytime -- drop me a line!
Rafael Garcia
Cornell Food Safety Laboratory

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