Fungi are an essential factor oflife today and are immensely productive to both animals and plants. Many foodsand traditional medicines comprise of fungi and have done for centuries.Currently, we are still discovering more and more uses of fungal processes. Thecommercial cost of fungal products was previously as high as £380,000 millionworldwide. Fungi are vital to the production of food, ranging from mushroomcultivation to the production of cheese.WhatFungi are Useful Today?Agaricus bisporus- Edible mushroom commonly known as Portobello mushroom.
They are anutritious fungal growth known to be superfoods. They are good for promotingbetter diet quality and weight management as well as improving your immunesystem, eradicating viruses and destroying cancer cells.Saccharomyces cerevisiae- Single-celled fungi that are highly useful in foodproduction. It is a species of yeast that is used most commonly in bread tomake the bread dough rise when baking. They are also used in industrialprocesses to make alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine.
Penicilliumcamemberti- A species of fungi is used in the production ofCamembert cheese and other similar cheeses such as Brie cheese to form a white,crispy crust. This is what gives these particular cheeses a hard surface and sucha unique flavour.Fusariumvenatum- Mycoproteins (a fungus with a high amountof protein) used as a substitute to meat to produce Quorn for vegetarians. Itis also used as a alternative for fat in dairy products.Aspergillus niger- Multi-cellular moulds that is used in both fizzy drinksand carbonated water in order to increase the amount of citric acid in the beveragesas this acid can be obtained through a process called fermentation. The use ofthis mould in fizzy drinks is to also maintain the fizz for a longer amount oftime once the drink has been opened.
How is Saccharomycescerevisiae used in the Production of Bread and Alcoholic Drinks?Saccharomyces cervisiae, asmentioned, is a yeast included in the making of bread, to allow the dough torise when baking. Yeast is a single-celled fungus that feeds off of sugar.During bread making, the sugars are metabolised and the yeast produces carbondioxide, as well as alcohol, and this is then released into the dough, makingit rise before cooking. Additionally, yeast is used to make alcoholic drinkssuch as beer and wine. The role of yeast in brewing is to convert juice, generallygrape juice, into wine; this process is called fermentation.
Alcoholicfermentation is the process by which sugars are turned into alcohol. In theabsence of oxygen, yeast converts the glucose (sugar) into ethanol (alcohol)and carbon dioxide. As a result, wine is made.