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Even though we think we know about the health benefits of fermented foods, we don’t really understand their details! Lately, people are paying attention to the functionality of fermented foods. What do you think “fermentation” is in the first place? Fermentation refers to the process by which the original ingredients (raw materials) change due to the action of microorganisms (fermenting bacteria) to produce ingredients that are good for the human body. In this edition of Camellia Newsletter we will introduce the positive effects from fermentation with some examples of Japanese fermented foods.

Fermented foods support our health! Many people pay attention to benefits of fermentation!

When it comes to fermented foods, many people think that they may be beneficial for the body. In the last few years, many fermentation themed cafes and restaurants have opened in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Additionally, traditional fermented breweries in various regions of Japan have started to build similar cafes and restaurants beside their facilities and gain popularity among tourists.

The benefits of fermenting plant-based material, animal milk, seafood, etc. are an improved storage stability, higher nutritional values, and the production of a unique aroma and flavor. Microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, and koji-molds are involved in the fermentation processes. Fermentation is rooted in the climate and cultures of various regions in different countries around the world. It exists naturally since the time when human beings still did not know about the existence of microorganisms and people have been benefiting from it.

A variety of fermented foods exist as seasonings in Japan. Most of them are plant- derived fermented foods. In recent years, scientific studies have begun to unfold the effects of these fermented foods to our health.

Credit to: Muneaki Takahata Ph.,D.