Pain poolish—a type of fermentation starter for bread
Nuruk, a fermentation starter for alcoholic beverages

A fermentation starter (called simply starter within the corresponding context, sometimes called a mother[1]) is a preparation to assist the beginning of the fermentation process in preparation of various foods and alcoholic drinks. Food groups where they are used include breads, especially sourdough bread, and cheese. A starter culture is a microbiological culture which actually performs fermentation. These starters usually consist of a cultivation medium, such as grains, seeds, or nutrient liquids that have been well colonized by the microorganisms used for the fermentation.

These starters are formed using a specific cultivation medium and a specific mix of fungal and bacterial strains.[2][3]

Typical microorganisms used in starters include various bacteria and fungi (yeasts and molds): Rhizopus, Aspergillus, Mucor, Amylomyces, Endomycopsis, Saccharomyces, Hansenula anomala, Lactobacillus, Acetobacter, etc. Various national cultures have various active ingredients in starters, and often involve mixed microflora.[2]

Industrial starters include various enzymes, in addition to microflora.[2]

National names

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In descriptions of national cuisines, fermentation starters may be referred to by their national names:

See also


  1. ^ Alton Brown (September 21, 2005). "Good Wine Gone Bad". Good Eats. Season 9. Episode 8. Food Network.
  2. ^ a b c Norman F. Haard, S.A. Odunfa, Cherl-Ho Lee, R. Quintero-Ramírez, Argelia Lorence-Quiñones, Carmen Wacher-Radarte, Fermented Cereals: A Global Perspective, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, 1999, ISBN 92-5-104296-9.
  3. ^ Dilip K. Arora, Libero Ajello, K. G. Mukerji, Handbook of Applied Mycology: Foods and Feeds, Volume 3, CRC Press, 1991, ISBN 0-8247-8491-X.
  4. ^ "椒盐筋饼", 天天饮食,
  5. ^ Jyoti Prakash Tamang, ed. (2016). "Ethnic Fermented Foods and Beverages of Cambodia". Ethnic Fermented Foods and Alcoholic Beverages of Asia. Springer Publishing. p. 237. ISBN 978-81-322-2798-4.
  6. ^ a b Lee, Cherl-Ho (1999). "Cereal Fermentations in Countries of the Asia-Pacific Region". In Haard, Norman F.; Odunfa, S.A.; Lee, Cherl-Ho; Quintero-Ramírez, R.; Lorence-Quiñones, Argelia; Wacher-Radarte, Carmen (eds.). Fermented cereals. A global perspective. FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. p. 91. ISBN 92-5-104296-9. ISSN 1010-1365.
  7. ^ Jyoti Prakash Tamang, ed. (2016). "Ethnic Fermented Foods and Beverages of Thailand". Ethnic Fermented Foods and Alcoholic Beverages of Asia. Springer Publishing. p. 154. ISBN 978-81-322-2798-4.