News | August 29, 2006

What Is Fermentation (Biochemistry)?

Source: BioProcess Online

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Abstract: What Is Fermentation (Biochemistry)?

Fermentation is a process that is important in anaerobic conditions when there is no oxidative phosphorylation to maintain the production of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) by glycolysis. During fermentation pyruvate is metabolised to various different compounds. Homolactic fermentation is the production of lactic acid from pyruvate; alcoholic fermentation is the conversion of pyruvate into ethanol and carbon dioxide; and heterolactic fermentation is the production of lactic acid as well as other acids and alcohols.

Typical examples of fermentation products are ethanol, lactic acid, and hydrogen. However, more exotic compounds can be produced by fermentation, such as butyric acid and acetone.

Although the final step of fermentation (conversion of pyruvate to fermentation end-products) does not produce energy, it is critical for an anaerobic cell since it regenerates nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD ), which is required for glycolysis. This is important for normal cellular function, as glycolysis is the only source of ATP in anaerobic conditions.

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Abstract: What Is Fermentation (Biochemistry)?

SOURCE: Wikipedia