Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Fermentation (from the Latin fermentum; “fermentation agent”, “leaven”) is one of the oldest biotechnological methods for conserving foodstuffs and manufacturing alcoholic beverages (e.g. Beer; Wine). Today, all technical transformations of a biological substrate using microorganisms or enzymes is called fermentation, but until the 19th century, the term denoted biological reactions in the absence of air, especially alcoholic fermentation. The theory of fermentation in this period was at the heart of the debate over the doctrine of life force (Vitalism), and it marked …

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Meinel, Christoph, “Fermentation”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 02 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_019190>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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