What's That Bubbling in Your Kitchen? The Science, Art, Tastes and Health Benefits of Fermentation

Fermented vegetables in jars

To civilizations throughout time, fermentation has been seen as a magical transformation of foods or beverages. In this session, ASU's Holly Huffman, senior lecturer in biochemistry in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, will guide you through a look at these magical microorganisms to get a glimpse of the biochemical aspects of fermentation, an appreciation for the ubiquitous role fermentation plays in our lives and well-being, and the contribution fermentation makes in commercial markets.    

Be amazed by our interdependence on the fermenting organisms in our bodies, predominately the huge health impact of fermentation by probiotics in our gut that modulate our immune systems and overall well-being. We'll look at the history of fermentation as a method of food preservation as well as the prevalence of fermented foods in our everyday lives and as part of world cultures. We’ll consider the practical aspects of use of fermentation in bioremediation, large scale production of biological compounds used in research and in medicine, as well as in the production of alternative fuels.

Holly Huffman holds a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of California, Riverside, and has completed postdoctoral work at the Mayo Clinic and ASU. A faculty member at ASU Polytechnic campus since 2004, she was instrumental in establishing the chemistry program there. She is analyzing the nutritional content of foods from aeroponic gardens and has previously supervised research projects on enzyme kinetics. She enjoys doing many types of fermentation in her day-to-day life.

This session is part of the Science and Mathematics Colloquium Series at ASU's Polytechnic campus, in which faculty and practictioners discuss their current research and field projects. 

Department: 
Faculty of Science and Mathematics, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts
Contact: 
Professor Fabio Albuquerque
Location: 
Student Union, Cooley Ballroom B
Campus: 
Polytechnic campus
Price: 
Free