Understanding the Process of Anaerobic Digestion of Food - procomposting.com

Understanding the Process of Anaerobic Digestion of Food


A plate of food on a table

Anaerobic digestion of food is the process where food is broken down to carbon dioxide and water with an absence of oxygen. The bacteria that make this process happen are anaerobic, meaning that they require oxygen to grow and multiply. This type of digestion can occur in the case of animal or plant matter. For instance, digesting meat, especially beef, will give rise to a sulfur-producing gas while processing vegetables, egg and fish will make use of anaerobic digestion.

An Overview

A banana sitting on top of a dirt field

Anaerobic digestion, on the other hand, is the opposite of anaerobic digestion. Here, there is no need for oxygen. This is the process that takes place when food is being cooked in an oven, cooked on the barbecue, stewed in a crock pot or deep fried.

There are different types of bacteria that perform anaerobic digestion. One of them is known as Ruminococcus. It is commonly found in the mouth, the anus and some people’s throats. A second type of anaerobic digestion is the case where anaerobes are allowed to grow and multiply in anaerobic conditions – here, there is no oxygen and the bacteria use carbon dioxide as a source of energy.

Understanding Anaerobic Digestion Of Food Waste

A close up of a hand

Anaerobic digestion of food waste can take place in the colon or vagina. In the colon, it is due to increased production of toxins. Another place where anaerobic digestion can take place is in the bladder. When there is an excessive amount of bacteria present in the bladder, it is called a functional colitis. A third possible place where this can occur is in the esophagus, where it leads to a condition known as acid reflux.

The production of toxins is not the only reason why anaerobic digestion takes place. Sometimes, the body converts starches and sugars into simple sugars, which it then releases into the stool. Other times, the body just can’t break down the foods we eat enough to make them useful as nutrients. In these cases, anaerobes are able to do the job.

There are several different ways that anaerobic digestion occurs. In the digestive tract, the action takes place between the valve between the intestines and the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter. This anaerobic digestion can be seen to take place when there is excessive activity on the part of the enzyme or bacteria needed to break down the food for digestion. This over activity of these enzymes can be caused by physiological abnormalities, such as those that occur during pregnancy or diabetes. It can also be caused by drug use, especially antibiotics.

Another way in which this type of digestion takes place is at the intestinal wall. There, too, the activity takes place between the esophagus and the stomach, and the overproduction of the anaerobic bacteria can be the cause. Some of the foods that seem to trigger anaerobic digestion of food are raw and cooked vegetables, citrus juices from garlic and onions. Many fruits, particularly those high in sugar, also seem to provoke this kind of digestion.

In Conclusion

The results of anaerobic digestion of food can vary widely. Some people find that they have very few if any problems with this type of digestion, while others may find the opposite to be true. It is important to note that anaerobic digestion of food is completely normal and expected as a normal part of the digestive process. It just becomes more troublesome when it causes symptoms in some people. Most people with an excessive amount of anaerobic bacteria in their gut are usually able to maintain a healthy balance of the good and bad bacteria, and there are no serious health problems related to this condition. Those who do not normally have problems with digestion will find that they are more likely to suffer from indigestion or food poisoning as a result of this overproduction of bacteria.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter