Fermentation in Biology: Types, Reactions & Examples (2022)

  • Written By Harshitha A
  • Last Modified 19-07-2022

Fermentation in Biology: Types, Reactions & Examples (1)

Fermentation is considered to be an incomplete oxidation procedure of glucose, that reaction occurs under anaerobic conditions. The breakdown of glucose is the outcome of fermentation process. Many of the food products that we consume on regular basis like idli, bread, cheese, dosa, etc. are all fermented food. Fermentation is an old traditional process that was strongly followed by our ancestors as well. This article will discuss all the aspects associated with fermentation.‌Follow this article to‌find‌ ‌out‌ ‌more‌ ‌interesting‌ ‌facts‌ ‌about‌ fermentation.

Fermentation in Biology is an important chapter in NCERT 10th grade. Embibe offers a range of study materials that includes PDF of NCERT books, previous year question papers and solution sets for each chapter. Students can follow these solution sets to understand the correct approach that needs to be followed to answer the questions appropriately. Students can further download the PDF of NCERT books to refer to in the future.

Fermentation in Biology: Types, Reactions & Examples (2)

Fermentation: Definition

Fermentation is defined as an anaerobic breakdown of carbohydrates and other organic compounds to form alcohol and organic acids with the help of microorganisms or their enzymes.

(Video) Fermentation

  1. The branch of an applied science that deals with study of fermentation process and its application is referred to as zymology.
  2. The chambers in which fermentation is carried out are called fermenters or bio fermenters or bioreactors.

Fermentation: History

In the ancient times applied fermentation was used to make different products like wine, cheese, etc. Fermentation was used long before its biochemical reactions were understood by the human race. In the \(1850\rm{s}\) and \(1860\rm{s}\), the scientist Louis Pasteur became the first person to discover the process of fermentation and is now known as the “father of fermentation”.

Fermentation: Process

Fermentation in Biology: Types, Reactions & Examples (3)

The cellular respiration is of two types, i.e. aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration.

  1. Aerobic respiration: It is a process when glucose is broken down to carbon dioxide in the presence of oxygen to produce energy in the form of ATP.
  2. Anaerobic respiration: It is a process when glucose is broken down in the absence of oxygen. It is also called fermentation.

Fermentation is an anaerobic biochemical process that takes place in the absence of oxygen. In fermentation, the first process is the same as the cellular respiration process, which is the formation of pyruvic acid by glycolysis where \(2\) ATP molecules are synthesized. In the second step, pyruvate is reduced to lactic acid, ethanol, or other products. In this step, \({\bf{NA}}{{\bf{D}}^ + }\) is regenerated to be utilized in the glycolysis process.

Fermentation: Diagrammatic Representation

The fate of glucose under an anaerobic environment or during the fermentation process in various microorganisms is as shown in the figure below:

Fermentation in Biology: Types, Reactions & Examples (4)

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Fermentation: Types based on Respiration

The first step of fermentation is glycolysis.

(Video) Fermentation explained in 3 minutes - Ethanol and Lactic Acid Fermentation

Glycolysis

  1. Origin of word: The word glycolysis is derived by combination of two Greek words, Glykos meaning sugar and lysis meaning breakdown or dissolution.
  2. Definition: Glycolysis is a process in which glucose is broken down and converted into pyruvic acid in presence of certain enzymes.
  3. This pathway is also known as EMP Pathway, as it was discovered by three German scientists, Embden, Meyerhof, and Parnas.
  4. Location of Glycolysis: Cytoplasm of the cell
  5. Type of pathway: It is an anaerobic oxidative process because it occurs in the absence of free oxygen, and there is a loss of hydrogen.
  6. Overall equation: \({\bf{Glucose}} + {\bf{2}}\,{\bf{ADP}} + {\bf{2}}{\rm{ }}{\bf{Pi}} + {\bf{2}}\,{\bf{NA}}{{\bf{D}}^ + } \to {\bf{2}}{\rm{ }}{\bf{Pyruvate}} + {\bf{2}}\,{\bf{ATP}} + {\bf{2}}\,{\bf{NADH}} + {\bf{2}}\,{{\bf{H}}^ + }\)
  7. It is a common pathway for both aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration.

After glycolysis, in absence of free molecular oxygen, further breakdown of pyruvate takes place to regenerate \({\rm{NA}}{{\rm{D}}^ + }.\) There are two major types of anaerobic fermentation: Alcoholic fermentation and lactic acid fermentation. The fermentation process restores \({\rm{NA}}{{\rm{D}}^ + }\) concentration to allow a cell to continue generating ATP through glycolysis.

Alcoholic Fermentation

The alcoholic fermentation process is involved in brewing industries for producing beverages such as whisky, rum, beer, etc.

The organism involved in alcoholic fermentation: Brewer yeast, i.e. Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Steps of Alcoholic Fermentation

  1. Decarboxylation of pyruvic acid in the presence of an enzyme pyruvate decarboxylase, coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) and \({\rm{Z}}{{\rm{n}}^{2 + }}\) as a cofactor. It produces acetaldehyde.
  2. Acetaldehyde accepts 2H-atoms from \({\bf{NADH}} + {{\bf{H}}^ + }\) in the presence of enzyme ethanol dehydrogenase and forms ethanol.
  3. Thus, during alcoholic fermentation, one glucose molecule produces molecules of ethyl alcohol.
  4. Yeast poisoning: Accumulation of alcohol formed by fermentation in a culture of yeast stops the multiplication of yeast cells and may even lead to the death of cells. This is called yeast poisoning and happens at \(13\%\) of alcoholic concentration.

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Fermentation Equation

\({{\bf{C}}_{\bf{6}}}{{\bf{H}}_{{\bf{12}}}}{{\bf{O}}_{\bf{6}}} + {\bf{2}}\,{\bf{ADP}} + {\bf{2}}\,{\bf{Pi}} \to {\bf{2}}\,{{\bf{C}}_{\bf{2}}}{{\bf{H}}_{\bf{5}}}{\bf{OH}} + {\bf{2}}\,{\bf{C}}{{\bf{O}}_{\bf{2}}} + {\rm{ }}{\bf{2}}\,{\bf{ATP}}\)

Fermentation in Biology: Types, Reactions & Examples (5)

Lactic Acid Fermentation

  1. It is used in the milk industry and even occurs in the white muscle fibres of the vertebrates or even during strenuous muscle activity.
  2. In the milk industry, it occurs in the presence of lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus.
  3. In this type of fermentation, pyruvic acid acts as an H-acceptor and receives two H-atoms from \({\rm{NADH}} + {{\rm{H}}^ + }\) and changes into lactic acid.
  4. It occurs in the presence of \({\rm{FMN}}\) as a coenzyme and \({\rm{Z}}{{\rm{n}}^{2 + }}\) as a cofactor.
  5. So, one glucose molecule produces two molecules of lactic acid.
  6. Lactic acid is excreted out so a large amount of energy of glucose is lost in the lactic acid. In this, carbon dioxide is not produced.

Fermentation Equation

\({{\bf{C}}_{\bf{6}}}{{\bf{H}}_{{\bf{12}}}}{{\bf{O}}_{\bf{6}}} + {\bf{2}}\,{\bf{ADP}} + {\bf{2}}\,{\bf{Pi}}{\rm{ }} \to {\bf{2}}\,{{\bf{C}}_{\bf{3}}}{{\bf{H}}_{\bf{6}}}{{\bf{O}}_{\bf{3}}} + {\bf{2}}\,{\bf{ATP}} + {\bf{2}}\,{{\bf{H}}_{\bf{2}}}{\bf{O}}\)

(Video) What is FERMENTATION? Types of fermentation?

Fermentation in Biology: Types, Reactions & Examples (6)

Lactic Acid Fermentation: Types

  1. Homolactic fermentation: The fermentation in which only the lactic acid is produced is called homo-lactic fermentation. No byproducts are formed during the reaction.
  2. Heterolactic fermentation: The fermentation in which the lactic acid is produced along with some by-products like gases.

Did You Know: Muscle cramps arise due to the accumulation of lactic acid.

Types of Fermentation Based on Supply of Nutrient Medium

Based on culture media, fermentation is divided into three types, i.e., batch, fed-batch, and continuous fermentation.

Fermentation in Biology: Types, Reactions & Examples (7)

Batch Fermentation

  1. A batch fermentation is a closed culture type of system because the initial and limited amount of sterilized nutrient medium is introduced into the fermenter.
  2. The medium used in this process is inoculated with a suitable microorganism and incubated for a definite period for fermentation to proceed under optimal physiological conditions.
  3. The fermentation is run for a definite period or until the nutrients are exhausted.
  4. The fermentation process obtains a characteristic Sigmoid or S-shaped curve.

Fed-Batch Fermentation

  1. A fed-batch is a modification of batch fermentation.
  2. In this fermentation process, the substrate is added periodically in instalments as the fermentation progresses, due to which the substrate is always at an optimal concentration.
  3. This is essential as some secondary metabolites are subjected to catabolite repression by a high concentration of either glucose or other carbohydrate or nitrogen compounds present in the medium.
  4. It reduces the poisoning of fermenting microbes and also productivity is higher than batch fermentation.

Continuous Fermentation

  1. Continuous fermentation is a closed system of fermentation, run for an indefinite period.
  2. In this fermentative method, a fresh nutrient medium is added continuously or intermittently to the fermenter and an equivalent amount of used medium with microorganisms is withdrawn continuously or intermittently for the recovery of cells or fermentation products.
  3. The productivity is maximum in such a fermentation.
  4. The fermentation process follows a characteristic exponential or J-shaped curve.

Significance of Fermentation

Some of the functions of fermentation are given below:

Fermentation in Biology: Types, Reactions & Examples (8)
  1. Net gain of \(2\) \({\rm{ATP}}\) molecules from one molecule of glucose.
  2. The main function of fermentation is to convert \({\rm{NADH}}\) back into the coenzyme \({\rm{NA}}{{\rm{D}}^ + }\)so that it can be used again for glycolysis.
  3. Fermentation is important to produce various food products like curd, cheese, yoghurt, dosa, idli, etc.
  4. Anaerobic respiration occurs in muscles to generate energy during strenuous activities.
  5. RBCs also undergo anaerobic respiration to obtain energy.
  6. Fermentation is used for preservation in a process that produces lactic acid as found in such sour foods as pickled cucumbers, kimchi, etc.
  7. This process is also used for producing alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer.

Summary

Fermentation is the chemical transformation of organic substances into simpler compounds in absence of oxygen by the action of enzymes, complex organic catalyst, which are produced by a microorganism such as yeast, bacteria, etc., Through this article, we understood how fermentation is being used from the olden days to this new modern era. Fermentation is the process used in various industries and has wide applications towards obtaining varied products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Fermentation

Frequently asked questions related to fermentation are listed as follows:

(Video) National 5 Biology Key Area 1 6 Fermentation video 3

Q.1. What are the 3 types of fermentation?
Ans: The 3 types of fermentation are lactic acid fermentation, ethanol fermentation, and acetic acid fermentation.

Q.2. What exactly is fermentation?
Ans: Fermentation is defined as a metabolic process that forms chemical changes in organic substrates through the action of different enzymes in absence of oxygen.

Q.3. Give an example of cells or tissue in humans undergoing anaerobic respiration.
Ans: RBCs, white muscle fibres, muscles under strenuous exercise, etc. are few examples of cells or tissues undergoing anaerobic respiration in humans.

Q.4. What are the microorganisms that are used in the fermentation process?
Ans: The common microorganisms that are used in the fermentation process are lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Lactococcus. Different species of Yeast like Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Monascus purpureus, etc. are also used.

Q.5. What is the use or significance of fermentation?
Ans: The fermentation process is used in breweries to produce wines, beers, etc. and it is used in preparing bread, pizza dough, idli, etc.

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We hope this detailed article on Fermentation is helpful to you. If you have any queries on this article, feel free to post your comments in the comment box below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

FAQs

What are the types of fermentation biology? ›

There are two types of fermentation, alcoholic fermentation and lactic acid fermentation. Our cells can only perform lactic acid fermentation; however, we make use of both types of fermentation using other organisms.

What are two types of fermentation reactions? ›

The two types of fermentation are: Lactate fermentation: This type of fermentation produces lactic acid. Alcoholic fermentation: It is also called ethanol fermentation, which involves converting pyruvate to acetaldehyde and CO2.

What is fermentation reaction explain with example? ›

Fermentation is a metabolic process in which an organism converts a carbohydrate, such as starch or a sugar, into an alcohol or an acid. For example, yeast performs fermentation to obtain energy by converting sugar into alcohol. Bacteria perform fermentation, converting carbohydrates into lactic acid.

What is an example of fermentation in biology? ›

The type of fermentation depends on its byproducts. For example, lactic acid fermentation is a type of fermentation that produces lactic acid. Alcohol fermentation produces alcohol, such as ethanol, aside from CO2. Fermentation occurs in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, including humans.

What are the 3 type of fermentation? ›

The three main types of fermentation are alcohol fermentation, lactic acid fermentation and acetic acid fermentation.

What is the chemical reaction for fermentation? ›

It can be further defined as that form of fermentation, characteristic of cells in general, in which the six-carbon sugar glucose is broken down into two molecules of the three-carbon organic acid, pyruvic acid (the nonionized form of pyruvate), coupled with the transfer of chemical energy to the synthesis of adenosine ...

What is lactic acid and alcoholic fermentation? ›

Definition. Lactic Acid Fermentation: Lactic acid fermentation refers to a metabolic process by which glucose is converted into the metabolite: lactate and cellular energy. Alcoholic Fermentation: Alcoholic fermentation refers to a metabolic process by which glucose is converted into ethanol and carbon dioxide.

What is fermentation process in biology? ›

Fermentation is an anaerobic pathway- a common pathway in the majority of prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes. In this process, glucose is partially oxidised to form acids and alcohol. In organisms like yeast, the pyruvic acid formed by partial oxidation of glucose is converted to ethanol and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Why are fermentation reactions important for cells? ›

Fermentation allows glucose to be continuously broken down to make ATP due to the recycling of NADH to NAD+. (Without fermentation, the electron carrier would be full of electrons, the entire process would back up, and no ATP would be produced.)

What is an example of alcoholic fermentation? ›

Alcoholic fermentation is the process of using yeasts to convert sugars into alcohol. Distillation is a process used to higher-ABV beverages from already-fermented base products. (For example, the distillation of beer wort creates whiskey, while the distillation of wine produces brandy.)

What is an example of lactic acid fermentation? ›

Yogurt. The main method of producing yogurt is through the lactic acid fermentation of milk with harmless bacteria.

What is an aerobic reaction? ›

A chemical process in which oxygen is used to make energy from carbohydrates (sugars). Also called aerobic metabolism, cell respiration, and oxidative metabolism.

What is the formula for fermentation? ›

Balanced chemical equation for the fermentation of glucose to ethanol: C6H12O6(aq)  2C2H5OH(l) + 2CO2(g) (yeast acts as a catalyst in this reaction.) As the diagram on the right displays, one molecule of Glucose produces two molecules of carbon dioxide and two molecules of ethanol.

What are the 3 products of alcoholic fermentation? ›

Alcoholic fermentation is a complex biochemical process during which yeasts convert sugars to ethanol, carbon dioxide, and other metabolic byproducts that contribute to the chemical composition and sensorial properties of the fermented foodstuffs.

What is the use of fermentation? ›

Fermentation is a process widely used in yoghurt production, pickles, bread, other bakery and food products, alcoholic biofuels and other beverages like beer, wine, liquors, ethyl alcohol, etc. Other commercial applications of the fermentation process are: Curing of tea.

What is another name for fermentation? ›

In this page you can discover 35 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for fermentation, like: zymolysis, zymosis, unrest, souring, overflowing, zymurgy, stum, fermenting, ferment, tempestuousness and foaming.

What are products of fermentation? ›

Products of Fermentation

While there are a number of products from fermentation, the most common are ethanol, lactic acid, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen gas (H2). These products are used commercially in foods, vitamins, pharmaceuticals, or as industrial chemicals.

How many ATP are produced in fermentation? ›

When glucose undergoes fermentation, there is a net gain of 2 ATP molecules that occurs in the glycolysis process. It is the same for both lactic acid fermentation and alcoholic fermentation.

What are the two types of fermentation in cellular respiration? ›

There are two types of fermentation: alcoholic fermentation and lactic acid fermentation .

What are the types of fermentation have you learned about? ›

People use these organisms to make yogurt, bread, wine, and biofuels. Human muscle cells also use fermentation. This occurs when muscle cells cannot get oxygen fast enough to meet their energy needs through aerobic respiration. There are two types of fermentation: lactic acid fermentation and alcoholic fermentation.

What is batch fermentation and continuous fermentation? ›

Batch and continuous fermentation are two industrially adopted fermentation processes to produce useful products from microorganisms. Batch fermentation is done in batch-wise. Continuous fermentation is done continuously while feeding nutrients and harvesting products at regular intervals.

What type of fermentation occurs in humans? ›

Humans undergo lactic acid fermentation when the body needs a lot of energy in a hurry. When you are sprinting full speed, your cells will only have enough ATP stored in them to last a few seconds. Once the stored ATP is used, your muscles will start producing ATP through lactic acid fermentation.

What type of respiration are alcoholic and lactic acid fermentation? ›

Anaerobic Respiration: The incomplete breakdown of glucose WITHOUT OXYGEN resulting in a few ATP's and other high energy molecules. Two types of anaerobic respiration; Alcoholic Fermentation (yeast cells) and Lactic Acid Fermentation (higher animal muscle tissue during heavy activity).

What is an example of alcoholic fermentation by yeast? ›

Alcoholic fermentation is the process of using yeasts to convert sugars into alcohol. Distillation is a process used to higher-ABV beverages from already-fermented base products. (For example, the distillation of beer wort creates whiskey, while the distillation of wine produces brandy.)

What is alcoholic fermentation and lactic acid fermentation? ›

The main difference between lactic acid and alcoholic fermentation is the release of CO2. Carbon dioxide is released in alcoholic fermentation but not in lactic acid fermentation. In lactic acid fermentation, pyruvate is converted to lactic acid and in alcoholic fermentation, pyruvate is converted to ethanol and CO2.

What is an example of lactic acid fermentation? ›

Yogurt. The main method of producing yogurt is through the lactic acid fermentation of milk with harmless bacteria.

What are the examples of batch fermentation? ›

Batch Fermentation
  • Butanol.
  • Succinic Acid.
  • Glucose.
  • Enzymes.
  • Biomass.
  • Fermentation.
  • Bioreactors.
  • Continuous Fermentation.

What is a continuous fermentation? ›

Continuous fermentation is an open operation system with continuous addition and discharge of the solution in the system. Microorganisms and sterile nutrient solution are added homogeneously to the bioreactor, continuously, while nutrient solution and microorganisms are transformed equivalently in the system.

What is Batch types of fermentation? ›

A batch fermentation is a closed culture system, because initial and limited amount of sterilized nutrient medium is introduced into the fermenter. The medium is inoculated with a suitable microorganism and incubated for a definite period for fermentation to proceed under optimal physiological conditions.

What is fermentation process in biology? ›

Fermentation is an anaerobic pathway- a common pathway in the majority of prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes. In this process, glucose is partially oxidised to form acids and alcohol. In organisms like yeast, the pyruvic acid formed by partial oxidation of glucose is converted to ethanol and carbon dioxide (CO2).

What are products of fermentation? ›

Products of Fermentation

While there are a number of products from fermentation, the most common are ethanol, lactic acid, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen gas (H2). These products are used commercially in foods, vitamins, pharmaceuticals, or as industrial chemicals.

What type of fermentation occurs in animals? ›

Fermentation process in the muscle cells of animals is called as lactic acid fermentation as the end product is lactic acid. In plant cells, fermentation results in the production of ethanol and carbon dioxide. Hence, it is also called as alcoholic fermentation.

Videos

1. Types of Fermentation - Dr. Deepika Malik | Learn Microbiology With Me
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2. Anaerobic respiration by yeast – fermentation | Physiology | Biology | FuseSchool
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4. Biology tutorial: Fermentation in 6 minutes
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5. Anaerobic Respiration Fermentation
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6. GCSE Biology - Respiration #21
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