With the need to preserve foods and preserve ourselves, fortication comes to the attention of the population more this year. As a way to preserve and fortify food, fermentation has been used in many cultures for increasing the beneficial bacteria and nutrients in foods such as vegetables, alcohol, milk products and vinegar, for centuries.
The new wave of fermentation will increase the possibility of uses and the way in which it becomes acceptable; such as fermented drinks, condiments, snacks and doughs. Fermentation, as a way of preserving and adding beneficial cultures, helps to create multifunctional food with health benefits, watchwords for 2016.
As we go forward into an era more conscious of waste and rising food prices, people will look to ways of using left over food or offcuts in the fridge. Kimchi, the traditional spicy cabbage condiment will gain popularity as new recipes and flavours of fermented vegetables come to the fore. Ker (fermented milk), Kombucha (fermented beverage) and drinking vinegars will become mainstream as new flavours make fermented beverages more appealing. With some people preferring not to eat dairy for health reasons, the fermentation process in milk and yogurt is helping people to digest the lactose.
Current research into the rise of coeliac disease is showing that the fast rising times of industrially made breads (often 3 hours from flour to packaging) have contributed to the rise of the gluten intolerance we increasingly hear more about. Artisan bakers are seeing success when they ferment their dough with wild yeasts for at least 12-15 hours, often much longer. This not only improves the digestibility of the bread but also lowers its glycemic index. So despite using some gluten flours, they find that consumers don’t always have a gluten-intolerant response and their sales increase. As artisan bakeries gain momentum, we will start to see consumers asking for more grain varieties in their daily bread. Customers will become more knowledgeable around the process and also the specfic ingredients.