fermentation (fer-men-ta´shun)

1. A chemical change induced in a complex organic compound by the action of an enzyme, whereby the substance is split into simpler compounds. 2. In bacteriology, the anaerobic dissimilation of substrates with the production of energy and reduced compounds; the mechanism of f. does not involve a respiratory chain or cytochrome, hence oxygen is not the final electron acceptor as it is in oxidation. [L. fermento, pp. -atus, to ferment, from L. fermentum, yeast]
acetic f. , acetous f. f., as of wine or beer, whereby the alcohol is oxidized to acetic acid (vinegar).
alcoholic f. the anaerobic formation of ethanol and CO2 from d-glucose. Cf. Gay-Lussac's equation.
amylic f. f. of potato or corn mash, or other starchy material, by which fusel oil is produced.
lactic acid f. the production of lactic acid in milk, or other carbohydrate-containing media, caused by the presence of any one of a number of lactic acid bacteria.


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