May 24, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Fermentation Minor

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Department Contact

Chair: Dr. Robin L. Cadwallader,, 814-472-3342
Coordinator: Dr. Tim Bintrim,

Program Description

Ancient civilizations in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas developed various fermented products for use in religious and civil ceremonies as well as everyday use. Ever since, fermentation has been woven into the cultural fabric of every society.

Fermentation refers to the process of anaerobic metabolism, which is the production of energy by bacteria cultures and fungi (such as yeasts and molds) from nutrients without utilizing oxygen. Arguably, non-scientists are more familiar with the products or by-products of this process by microflora, such as beer, wine, bread, cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, chocolate, and pickles to name a few. Scholars have suggested that nearly one-third of all foods consumed worldwide have been fermented. Unsurprisingly, firms that produce fermented foods and beverages constitute a significant portion of the world’s economy. 

The Fermentation minor provides students with a holistic approach to how culture is affected by fermentation and its products. These students will have the opportunity to focus upon the process and the products, thereby preparing them for careers in creation, such as Master Brewer, Vintner, Baker, or Pickler, or in management of businesses producing and selling these products.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Our students will be well-prepared for work or graduate school through a variety of classroom, field, and work place experiences.
  • Our students will have a solid and broad foundation of fermentation and business concepts through instruction in the sciences, humanities, and business. Our students will gain a wide breadth of experience that spans beyond the traditional classroom through unique extracurricular activities, field experiences, and service learning opportunities.
  • Our students will make the world a better place. They will make thoughtful, responsible, and ethical decisions grounded in the Franciscan tradition.

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