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Culinary Microbes

While the more notorious food microbes like E. coli and Salmonella may hog the spotlight, we shouldn't neglect all the lovely microorganisms that bring us such life-affirming foods as wine, cheese, and even chocolate. The following collection of Web sites presents a small sample of what these beneficial bugs do for us. In the first site, offered through the University of Wisconsin-Madison, readers will find an excellent introduction to the process of fermentation, with kimchee as a prime example (1). The next site, from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, offers a concise overview of winemaking and its long history (2). It focuses less on the microbial processes involved, but is still a worthwhile stop on our tour of the culinary microbe world. The following site contains an interesting article from _Discover_ magazine on the biology of cheese (3), focusing particularly on the difference between cheese made with pasteurized milk and those that are not (the only cheese worth eating, some would argue). The next two Web sites come courtesy of Miloslav Kal'b of Lund University in Sweden. They offer some very cool scanning electron micrographs of _Saccharomyces bayanus_ (4), the type of yeast used in winemaking, and the beneficial bacteria found in live yogurt (5). The next site offers a look at the biology and chemistry of bread as part of an online feature on the science of cooking from San Francisco's Exploratorium (6). Microbes also play an essential role in the processing of cacao seeds for chocolate. The next site from biology professor C. Case at Skyline College offers a detailed explanation of this and other processes involved in making chocolate (7). And for those not satisfied with surface details, the next site from Louisiana State University provides an illustrated tutorial of fermentation and other cellular processes (8).
Date of Scout Publication
August 8th, 2003
Date Of Record Creation
August 8th, 2003 at 11:24am
Date Of Record Release
August 8th, 2003 at 11:24am
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