fermentationmedical dictionary

<microbiology> The anaerobic enzymatic conversion of organic compounds, especially carbohydrates, to simpler compounds, especially to ethyl alcohol, resulting in energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

The process is used in the production of alcohol, bread, vinegar and other food or industrial products. It differs from respiration in that organic substances rather than molecular oxygen are used as electron acceptors.

Fermentation occurs widely in bacteria and yeasts, the process usually being identified by the product formed, for example, acetic, alcoholic, butyric and lactic fermentation are those that result in the formation of acetic acid, alcohol, butyric acid and lactic acid, respectively.

Origin: L. Fermentatio

(11 Mar 2008)