... or the mystery of fermentation

Source: Swiss Magazine for Fruit and Viticulture (SZOW)

Alcoholic fermentation has been known to man for thousands of years. But what lies behind it has only been sufficiently understood in the last two centuries. Andreas Kranz, author of the book "Craft Wine self-made: The big book of fruit wine production", shows what happens during fermentation and why it makes sense for yeast to poison themselves with alcohol.

In scientific nomenclature, baker's yeast, which pleases us with alcoholic fermentation and ensures that bread becomes fluffy, is called Saccharomyces cerevisiae designated. "Saccharomyces" comes from the Greek and literally means "sugar mushroom", "cerevisiae" is Latin and means "of beer". Systematically, it belongs to the Ascomycetes (sac fungi) and, together with the Basidiomycetes (pillar fungi: mushrooms and the like), is one of the higher fungi. Fungi are neither animals nor plants, yet they share characteristics of both. Like plants, they have a cell wall that differs significantly in its structure from the cell wall of plants. Like animals, they cannot photosynthesize, so they are unable to use sunlight as an energy source. But their cells have all the essential components of animal and plant cells: a real cell nucleus and various organelles. Thus, fungi, plant and animal cells belong to the so-called eukaryotes, on the other hand there are the simpler bacteria, also called prokaryotes. The processes within yeast cells are often similar to those of other eukaryotic cells in such a way that baker's yeast, which is easy to cultivate, has established itself as a model organism for so-called "higher cells". Ultimately, knowledge about the function of our cells goes back to research on yeasts.

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