Many food products are fermented and this can be for several reasons including taste, shelf-life extension, and improvement of the nutritional value. During the fermentation, the present carbon source is typically converted into organic acid or alcohol. The main fermenting microorganisms are lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi. Different categories of food products and the benefits that the fermenting microbes bring to these products are discussed. Moreover, there is an emphasis on health-promoting microorganisms, on the mutual effects that microorganisms have on each other, and the resulting effects on the food matrices. Besides, the current and future status of culture research, culture production, and their impact on food fermentation are discussed.
Keywords: Adhesion, Anti-Carcinogens, Anti-Mutagens, Bacteriocin, Bacteriophage, Cheese, Cultures, Complex Consortia, Exopolysaccharides, Food Fermentation, Functional Starter Culture, Functional Foods, Immunomodulation, Lactic Acid Bacteria, Mixed Cultures, Microbial Interactions, Mold, Probiotics, Shelf-Life, Texture, Taste, Yeast, Yoghurt.