1) incomplete path of respiration in the absence of sufficient oxygen. 2) the conversion of organic substances to alcohol and other metabolites by the action of enzymes (or ferments) that may invade a tree’s vascular system. The reaction may be aerobic or anaerobic. depending on the microorganisms or enzymes used.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
fermentation (noun)
a) a chemical change with effervescence
b) an enzymatically controlled anaerobic breakdown of an energy-rich compound (as a carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and alcohol or to an organic acid) , broadly an enzymatically controlled transformation of an organic compound
- ferment
fermentation (Wikipedia)
Fermentation in progress: Bubbles of CO2 form a froth on top of the fermentation mixture.

Fermentation is a metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic substrates through the action of enzymes. In biochemistry, it is narrowly defined as the extraction of energy from carbohydrates in the absence of oxygen. In the context of food production, it may more broadly refer to any process in which the activity of microorganisms brings about a desirable change to a foodstuff or beverage. The science of fermentation is known as zymology.

In microorganisms, fermentation is the primary means of producing ATP by the degradation of organic nutrients anaerobically. Humans have used fermentation to produce foodstuffs and beverages since the Neolithic age. For example, fermentation is used for preservation in a process that produces lactic acid found in such sour foods as pickled cucumbers, kimchi, and yogurt, as well as for producing alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer. Fermentation occurs within the gastrointestinal tracts of all animals, including humans.

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