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Fermentation is an age-old, natural technique for preserving and processing food ingredients with the aid of beneficial micro-organisms.
Despite its manifold benefits, traditional fermentation practices have largely been forgotten in Western societies due to the extensive use of sophisticated preservation techniques. However, the growing popularity of fermented products like kombucha, kefir, and kimchi is paving the way for the revival of fermentation techniques in the West. Fermentation techniques are thereby unlocking new innovation and market opportunities for the FMCG industry.
- Fermentation is poised to benefit from the rising consumer demand for food and beverages that promote digestive wellness. With modern research revealing the multifarious health benefits of cultured foods, fermentation is paving the way for a new line of functional food and drinks.
- The ongoing shift in consumer diets to natural and ’clean-label’ products is another trend that favors the revival of fermentation practices. Fermentation offers manufacturers a method for developing healthier, safer and ’cleaner-label’ food, beverage and cosmetics products by reducing the use of chemical preservatives.
- Exotic fermented foods and drinks offer a novel flavor, taste and texture sensation to Western palates, providing food manufacturers the opportunity to diversify their product line and provide consumers with a novel sensory experience.
- Fermentation has the potential to play a key role in the growing movement for sustainability in agriculture, food processing and consumption. Fermentation offers an energy- and resource-efficient alternative to advanced preservation techniques, and potent method for tackling the global issue of food waste.
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