what’s the difference between the fermenting process that results into wine, vinegar, and just plain spoiled food?



They all involve bacteria, yes? So why are some palatable and others harmful?

In: Chemistry

Wine is not fermented by bacteria. Wine is fermented by yeast that converts sugars into ethanol.

Correction: when exposed to the environment, wine will turn into vinegar by the action of microorganisms that metabolize the ethanol into acetic acid (vinegar). You can take a bottle of wine and expose it to air for 1 to 3 months and the microorganisms that get inside will metabolize that ethanol into vinegar.

As far as spoiled food goes, it’s different microorganisms that produce different waste products. Typically speaking, you do not want bacteria growing in your food. Bacteria produce all kinds of toxins, and that typically is what makes you sick when you eat spoiled food. The typical bacteria strains that spoil vegetables, for example, are pseudomonas, erwinia, bacillus, and clostridium. You don’t want any of those getting in your food or you.

The microorganisms that you put in it. Fermenting organisms are in airtight containers to keep the good organisms in and keep the bad ones out. Bad organisms break food down with harmful toxins that if consumed hurt us. Fermented organisms don’t.
Just like in every day life you’re constantly touching bacteria and other organisms but only a small percentage cause disease.

> they all involve bacteria

What made you think all microbes are bad? Some are good.

All mammals are mammals, but, some mammals will do bad things to you (like bite you) and some won’t.

So of course some things will be palatable and some won’t. Just like some plants are palatable (sugar, apple) and some aren’t (tree bark, dried maple leaf). Some microbes do good things and tasty things.