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Fermentation, a word derived from Latin, and meaning “to boil,” is a form of food processing utilizing microorganisms. Fermentation is currently experiencing a rise of interest and popularity in the United States. Fermentation encompasses a broad variety of products that reflect cultural culinary practices that span both time and space and include familiar items in the West such as wine, beer, pickles, and cheeses, as well as regional specialties like amazake, kimchi, and miso from the East, among many others. The current resurgence of popularity of fermented foods may be due to the health halo effect (i.e., the perception that a food is healthful based on a single characteristic or related characteristics) that surrounds them in the context of the growing interest in the United ...

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