Making your own food

As an animal science major, I am familiar with all the products that come from various types of animals, yet the biological processes behind the creation of each product I am generally unaware of.

June 21, 2017 - Author: Emilly Kittendorf

Emily in a French kitchen.

As an animal science major, I am familiar with all the products that come from various types of animals, yet the biological processes behind the creation of each product I am generally unaware of. The past two days changed that as I created my own beer and yogurt. The chemical processes behind each is phenomenal and I have a greater understanding and appreciation of the bottles of beer and cases of yogurt waiting to be consumed in the grocery store.

Most people are familiar with the beer process that begins with malt, proceeded by multiple levels of heating, then the addition of hops, and after fermentation it becomes beer. The yogurt process is relatively unknown though because of the technicality of the processes that make it much more difficult to produce it in a home kitchen. The raw milk must be pasteurized, heated, given a mixture of bacteria, heated, and then cooled while monitoring the pH.

While the processes were fascinating and the ability for me to make my own products was incredible, the possibilities each product has to create endless varieties is what intrigued me. Every malt can be a different grain, different roast, and different combination of each type. The hops have different flavors depending on the strain, time of year they are collected, and the climate they were produced in. Every yogurt can be produced with different combinations and types of bacteria, additional flavors, and texture depending on the heating process. The wide varieties possible makes it hard to believe that the market has so few when walking through the aisles in the grocery store.

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