fermentation

Fermentation is the process in which a substance breaks down into a simpler substance. Microorganisms like yeast and bacteria usually play a role in the fermentation process, creating beer, wine, bread, kimchi, yogurt and other foods.

Fermentation comes from the Latin word fermentare, meaning “to leaven.” To make bread rise, you use a leavening agent to “wake up” dry yeast by mixing it with water. The yeast then starts “eating” the sugar in the dough and off-gassing alcohol: that’s fermentation. Grape juice becomes wine as the fermentation process is complete.

Primary Meanings of fermentation

1.
n
a process in which an agent causes an organic substance to break down into simpler substances; especially, the anaerobic breakdown of sugar into alcohol
2.
n
a state of agitation or turbulent change or development
Full Definitions of fermentation
1

n a process in which an agent causes an organic substance to break down into simpler substances; especially, the anaerobic breakdown of sugar into alcohol

Synonyms:
ferment, fermenting, zymolysis, zymosis
Types:
bottom fermentation
a slow kind of alcoholic fermentation at a temperature low enough that the yeast cells can sink to the bottom of the fermenting liquid; used in the production of lager
top fermentation
a violent kind of alcoholic fermentation at a temperature high enough to carry the yeast cells to the top of the fermenting liquid; used in the production of ale
vinification
the process whereby fermentation changes grape juice into wine
Type of:
chemical action, chemical change, chemical process
(chemistry) any process determined by the atomic and molecular composition and structure of the substances involved
2

n a state of agitation or turbulent change or development

Synonyms:
agitation, ferment, tempestuousness, unrest
Type of:
Sturm und Drang, turbulence, upheaval
a state of violent disturbance and disorder (as in politics or social conditions generally)

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