|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Food spoilage is often thought of as the decomposition of food by enzymes, or microorganisms. Food Spoilage is best defined as: “ the undesirable consequence of chemical, biological or physical action”. Another way to state it is : “undesirable change in composition”. One person’s spoilage is another person’s fermentation. Desirable microbiological change is sometimes called fermentation. Ripening of cheese or the raising of bread are all desirable changes of food. Deterioration is best defined as the breakdown of composition or the process of becoming undesirable. We often associate food spoilage or over ripening of food with a deterioration or breaking down of the complexity of the food. When microorganisms convert the complex protein or carbohydrate of food to amines or acids that is deterioration. It may also be spoilage or it may be fermentation depending if it is desirable or undesirable.
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