For those after-work drinks on a Friday or the midweek pint that keeps us going, we have Fermentation to thank.
For those after-work drinks on a Friday or the midweek pint that keeps us going, we have Fermentation to thank. The term has its roots in the Latin word ‘fervere’, meaning "to boil," and was initially described by alchemists in the late 14th century. However, it wasn't until around 1600 that the chemical process of fermentation began to be the subject of proper scientific investigation.
Louis Pasteur, a French scientist, was the first to study fermentation in the 1850s and 1860s. He showed that fermentation was caused by living cells, but was unable to isolate the enzyme responsible for the process from yeast cells. Bad luck, Louis.
Finally, in 1897, German chemist Eduard Buechner extracted fluid from ground yeast and found that it could ferment a sugar solution.