Skip to main content

Fermentation of Food

The Culinary Exploitation of Microbial Ecosystems

While the process of fermentation significantly predates the emergence of our species, humans have been harnessing this microbial technology for food production and preservation for thousands of years. In many cases, specific fermented foods can act as a marker of cultural identity, and perhaps draw us back to the flavors and smells of grandma’s kitchen.

What is the science of fermented food? In this section, we will explore in depth the biochemical process of fermentation through engaging and hands-on laboratory work, including examples of laboratory-based activities that can be translated in limited-resource classroom settings. 

Choose a Level

When it comes to fermentation science, here are some things for you to know, for you to show and explore with learners, and ways to relate these ideas to our lives

At a glance


  • Life Science,
  • Biology of Cells,
  • Chemistry of Life,
  • Diversity of Organisms,
  • Organismal Biology,
  • Physical Science,
  • Chemical Reactions

Materials Required

  • Corner Store Materials,
  • Everyday Materials,
  • Lab Materials

Created by

Jeanne Garbarino Jeanne Garbarino avatar

Jeanne was once rescued by the FDNY after getting her head stuck in a fence. She then grew up to become a biochemist.
Director of RockEDU Science Outreach
The Rockefeller University

Disan Davis Disan Davis avatar

Disan is a scientist and educator striving to share her curiosity and love of science with others
RockEDU Program Manager
The Rockefeller University

SSRP Students SSRP Students  avatar

Shout out to the amazing SSRP high school students who have contributed to this work through their summer research projects!

The Kombucha Teachers The Kombucha Teachers  avatar

A group of dedicated MfA (Math for America) Science Teachers who developed killer lessons, activities, and research tools on kombucha

Community Reviews

Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now