Microbial Fermentation and Brewing

Fermentation is the enzymatic decomposition and utililization of foodstuffs, particularly carbohydrates, by microbes. Fermentation takes place throughout the gastrointestinal tract of all animals, but the intensity of fermentation depends on microbe numbers, which are generally highest in the large bowel. Thus, the large intestine is quantitatively the most important site of fermention, except for species with forestomachs (ruminants). Further, there are major differences in the contribution of fermentation to energy production of different species. In carnivores like dogs and cats, and even in omnivores like humans, fermentation generates rather few calories, but in herbivores, fermentation is a way of life.

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