Get the latest delivered to your inbox
Privacy Policy

Now Reading

Thinking About Fermentation in Fresh Ways

By Ryan Flick

Thinking About Fermentation in Fresh Ways

By Ryan Flick

Published 02-14-24

Submitted by Griffith Foods

To call it “time-tested” would be an understatement. Though fermentation is one of the world’s oldest preservation techniques, it’s finding new life as an exciting catalyst for food innovation.

Fermentation can be used to extend the life of seasonal, local ingredients while introducing consumers to globally inspired flavors. These foods offer the intriguing possibility of wellness benefits, as many contain live probiotics that can be beneficial for digestive health and may contain more bioactive or bioavailable end products such as vitamins or other compounds.

Foodservice operators use fermented foods to add complexity and depth to their dishes. Miso, umeboshi, pickled vegetables, sourdough and fruit vinegars are just a few of the ingredients making their way onto menus around the world. Dosa, a South Indian pancake made from fermented lentils and rice, is also growing globally.


  • Plant-based “lamb” burger made with seasoned fermented vegetables, from a delivery-only brand (UK)
  • Kimchi-filled hand pie in a flaky pastry shell, at a major QSR chain (Singapore)
  • A fast food chain claiming the world’s largest dosa menu, with over 100 varieties available (India)

Fermentation is also revamping the protein industry, especially when it comes to meat, seafood and egg alternatives that are more sustainable and tastier than ever. Precision, traditional and biomass fermentation processes are being explored as efficient and scalable ways to feed the world.

"The Fermented Future" and a hand holding a sandwich.


  • Vegan eggs made using precision fermentation, helping to protect from issues like avian flu while using less water, land and energy (US)
  • Mycoprotein chicken substitutes as high-protein, high-fiber and low saturated fat alternatives (UK)
  • Green pea tempeh, a naturally fermented protein- and nutrient-rich plant-based food for many culinary applications (Thailand)

In the snack category, we’re seeing interesting trends around flavor and format. Many classic snacks, such as crisps, crackers and nuts, are being revamped with popular fermented flavor profiles like kimchi and sauerkraut. On the sweet side, chocolates made through microbial fermentation are claiming to be both climate- and gut-friendly alternatives.


  • Cocoa product substitutes from fermented oats and precision fermentation processes to create sustainable chocolate bars (Germany)
  • Korean kimchi found as a popular flavor profile for instant ramen (Saudi Arabia, India, UAE)
  • Nattō, made from fermented soybeans, reimagined as a freeze-dried snack or jerky (Japan)
  • Panettone cake made with a natural fermentation process that results in a fluffy, moist texture (Brazil)

Fermented ingredients deliver sour, umami and tangy notes that make foods both memorable and balanced. From crave-worthy snacks to menu items that may support digestive health, fermentation presents an exciting opportunity to move the food industry forward.


Watch Chef Ryan Flick incorporate fermented ingredients into his Plant-based Ravioli, featuring Griffith Foods Plant-Based Vegan Beef Seasoning and Custom Culinary® Brown Gravy Mix. The ravioli are filled with textured plant protein, slow-cooked in upcycled fermented red wine pomace, then finished with butternut squash and miso butter foam.

Close up of the Injera Platter



Injera is a fermented pancake-like flatbread traditionally made from teff flour. It’s a staple of Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine, used both as a plate and as a utensil to scoop up stews and salads.

Injera Platter

Spongy flatbread served with atkilt wot (sautéed cabbage, potatoes and carrots), azifa (lentil salad), chermoula (herb sauce), blatjang (apricot chutney) and labneh (yogurt).


Fermentation preserves seasonality and can transform mundane flavors into something extraordinary. Contact your Griffith Foods representative to learn how our versatile products can enhance your culinary creations.


Our topical seasonings, marinades and brines deliver deep umami notes and fermented flavors, highlighted by fermented garlic, aged vinegars, warming spices and more.

  • Black Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar Snack Seasoning
  • Winter Fruit Brine
  • Pepperoni Cure and Seasoning

Sauces and Dressings

Ingredients such as fermented red miso, rice wine, tamari and pungent fish sauce bring complexity to salads and dipping sauce applications.

  • Miso-Mirin and Ponzu Glaze
  • Nước Chấm (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce)

Textures and Coatings

Tart, fermented notes of a classic “starter” combined with butter notes can be used in both sweet and savory applications.

  • Sourdough Chickpea Pancake Batter
" "
Injera Platter Spongy flatbread served with atkilt wot (sautéed cabbage, potatoes and carrots), azifa (lentil salad), chermoula (herb sauce), blatjang (apricot chutney) and labneh (yogurt).


Innovative products using fermentation techniques are popping up across the food industry. What’s coming next?


Fermented protein products will move from experimentation to a wider audience, and an important challenge will be educating consumers on the benefits of precision fermentation and similar processes.


For fermentation-focused snack brands, more claims will be made between fermented items (e.g. pre- and probiotic-rich skyr and kombucha) and a broader range of possible health benefits beyond gut health, which will require substantiation through ongoing research in this space.


In foodservice, fermented meat and dairy alternatives are often found in fine dining. QSR and fast casual operations will further adopt plant-based fermented foods as the processes become more mainstream.

Good Food Institute, “Fermentation for Alternative Proteins 101: Resource Guide,” 2023.
Mintel, 2024 FlavorIQ® Food and Flavor Outlook Report, January 2024.

View original content here.

GF logo

Griffith Foods

Griffith Foods

Griffith Foods is the caring, creative product development partner helping food companies meet the evolving needs of consumers while sustaining the planet. As a family business for more than 100 years, Griffith Foods is known for true, collaborative innovation. Our relationships with farmers, customers and others allow us to create delicious, nutritious foods that are better for people and better for the planet. Our people are united in advancing our purpose: “We blend care and creativity to nourish the world.” For more, visit

More from Griffith Foods

Join today and get the latest delivered to your inbox