Fermentation is one of the oldest food processes known to man and perfectly represents the current “retrovolution” movement in nutrition, where consumers are looking back to ancient methods of processing and clean labels to support optimal health.
Fermented foods and ingredients are being rediscovered by consumers worldwide as they move toward simpler, cleaner, whole foods that are processed in manners that are familiar to them and in ways that enhances the nutritional benefits of the foods. Fermentation is a great example of this and helps explain the surge in demand for fermented food products. Some of the reasons for the appeal consumers have for fermented foods are highlighted below:
Fermented foods are more nutrient dense! Free from extensive processing that reduces nutrient density, fermentation actually amplifies nutritional content—B vitamins, phytonutrients, amino acid and vitamin composition—while eliminating some anti-nutrients, such as lectins in grains and legumes.
Fermented foods are perfect for people with digestive issues. The process of fermentation actually “pre-digests” complex foods by breaking them down into more readily absorbable amino acids and simpler sugars.
Fermented foods are loved by people of all ages, all around the world. The process of fermenting foods is an ancient ritual, performed by humans for thousands of years. Originally used to enhance flavor (think soy sauce) and preserve foods, many ethnic cultures still eat fermented foods, such as Japanese miso, tempeh, and natto; Korean kimchi; and Mexican pozol. Thanks to the popularity of yogurt and kombucha, the popularity of fermented foods is now exploding in western cultures, too!
Fermentation brings simplicity to product formulation, resulting in optimal nutrient density using fewer ingredients.
The Fermentation Process
From a chemistry standpoint, fermentation is a simple reaction: using microorganisms and/or enzymes, it is the conversion of carbohydrates to simpler sugars or alcohols and carbon dioxide to organic acids.
Since the focus of fermenting supplement ingredients is to promote an environment to maximize beneficial chemical transformations, we have developed a controlled fermentation process to ensure optimal quality. In fact, uncontrolled fermentation can have negative effects, such as loss of nutritional value and palatability as well as potential spoilage.
FermaPro® at RFI
FermaPro®, our proprietary fermentation process, encourages the growth of particular microorganisms only to the point that achieves the desired effects, and then the fermentation is interrupted to stabilize the ingredients before drying. Once dried, we can add targeted pre- and probiotics to ensure maximum delivery of any desired serving-specific probiotic benefits.
With the FermaPro® process, we can ferment almost any dry material such as grains, grasses, seeds, botanicals, vegetables and fruits, using a variety of health-promoting bacterial or yeast cultures.
For more information about the health benefits of fermentation, download our FermaPro® White Paper.
Have an idea for a product using fermented ingredients, but don’t know where to start?
RFI can help! Learn more about Blueprints for Health®, our quick-to-market product formulation service or give us a call: (845) 358-8600.