Like Beats, Like Yeasts

From green music influencing yeasts growth to the latest creation of the fermentophone
Culinary World Mar 24, 2021
fermentation-music

Food scientists and artisans all over the world have also combined music and fermentation in milk, beer, wine, miso, and other types of productions to observe changes within the fermentation process or sensorial profile of the final product. And that's not it: bacteria seem to be having a real passion for music as they can be used for the creation of beats!

If you're unsure of which soundtrack you should play for your next fermentation experiment, you should definitely give green music a try. During the last years, this genre - a mix of classical music and nature sounds such as birds, insects, water, and wind - has been under the attention of many researchers aiming to understand the impact of music on fermentation. In particular, this type of wave sound was proven to increase the acidification rate of starter cultures in probiotic yogurt, as well as decrease bacteria or probiotics viability and incubation time. Other types of music from piano to metal, to simpler sounds like the one of water, have been used by producers around the world, who claimed that this process improves the quality of their fermented goods or simply determines changes in the sensorial characteristics of their goods.

Fermentation with music

In the last years, we've heard many stories about fermentation and sound. For example, wineries such as Montes Wines in Chile or Il Paradiso di Frassina in Italy used music to either age wine in barrels or grow grapes. In 2017, researchers from the University of Auckland, New Zeland, studied the behavior of beer yeasts within an anechoic chamber, a room designed to absorb reflections of sound and that where fermentation occurs under the condition of complete silence. In Germany, a bread-maker from Frankenwinheim launched his "flavor studio" where different breads were exposed to various genres including hard rock during their growth. Same story in Yamagata, Japan, where we can find a company fermenting miso under the notes Bach.

Music by fermentation

In 2020, Professor Joshua Pablo Rosenstock exhibited a project at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, called fermentophone, an installation of living jars based on his 5-years research and showcasing that the chemical processes of fermentation can be used to create music. In fact, the release of carbon dioxide bubbles occurring during the fermentation process of fruit and veggies creates a sound. His installation was designed to pick it up with underwater microphones and process it by a computer through algorithms plugged in to generate electronic music. The ending result was that different foods created different tunes, and this distinction was mainly due to sugar content as fruits and veggies presented notable differences in the generated track.

Feeling curious to make some experiments with fermentation and music? Here's a playlist provided by the Choco team that you can use for your next yeasts mixtape.

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