The Variety and Roles of Microbes
Students might not realize that many ordinary foods are made with microbes. Vinegar, for example, is soured wine.
Different vinegars obtain their flavors from the type of wine fermented (e.g., apple cider vinegar is made from apple cider wine, which is fermented apple cider) or from their surroundings after/during fermentation (e.g., balsamic vinegar is flavored by the balsamic fir wood barrels in which it is aged).
Sauerkraut, soy sauce, coffee and chocolate also are produced with the help of microbes.
A recipe to make vinegar can be found at http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/how-vinegar-works2.htm.
To see how cheese is made, visit http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/cheese.htm. (Scroll to the bottom of the first screen to see the short video demonstrating several steps in the cheese making process.)
Another cheese video is available at http://videos.howstuffworks.com/hsw/15890-rotten-but-not-forgotten-the-key-ingredients-of-cheese-video.htm.
A great video on the making of chocolate can be viewed at http://video.aol.com/video-detail/how-chocolate-is-made/3813527574.
- Moreno, N., Tharp, B., Erdmann, D., Rahmati Clayton, S., Denk, J. (2008). The Science of Microbes Teacher’s Guide. Houston, TX: BioEd.
- Weeks, B., Alcamo, I. E. (2008). Microbes and Society. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
- Comet, R. Butter and a knife. Retrieved 12-09-2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter.jpg
- Comet, R. A large whole dill pickle. Retrieved 12-09-2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pickle.jpg
- Karwath, A. 2005. Stack of chocolate. Retrieved 12-09-2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chocolate.jpg
- St. Pat goat’s milk cheese. Retrieved 12-09-2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cheese_39_bg_053006b.jpg
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