Techniques is a ‘how-to’ section with methods for gathering information to help producers engage with their fermentations.
When a fermented food product is not meeting quality standards, a producer will want to quickly identify the potential causes of poor quality. If microbes are playing a role, it might be helpful to conduct controlled experiments to determine how to control a fermented food microbiome to improve quality.
Many producers and home fermentors often ask me what simple DIY tools are available to better understand the microbiology of their products. Unfortunately, identifying most microbes is challenging and requires some expensive equipment, extensive experience, and access to DNA sequencing technologies. But the use of a simple microscope has the potential to teach you a lot about the microbes in your product. [click to view the full story]
In 2012, a consortium of French scientists published a practical guide to raw milk microbiology aimed at farmhouse cheesemakers interested in fostering the natural microbial diversity of their milk. They show that healthy and stable microbial communities contribute to cheese safety (as evidenced by some of the research into the microbial biofilms on wooden boards used for aging Reblochon), and are also crucial to cheese flavour. [click to view the full story]