Term (also abbreviated to starter) for special microorganisms that are used in fermentation processes for the production of food. The name is derived from the fact that these microorganisms initiate the change process of the food. They are available in liquid or freeze-dried form. The most common are lactic acid bacteria and yeasts or a mixture of both as in sourdough or kefir. More than a third of human food is made with them, for example baked goods, yoghurt, cheese, sauerkraut, sour milk products, cheese and raw sausage, as well as beer or wine. In winemaking, special starch cultures are used to initiate malolactic fermentation (BSA) in the form of special lactic acid bacteria.
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