Difference Between Alcohol and Lactic Acid Fermentation (With Table)

The fermentation process is very necessary for our body’s functioning. It is a chemical reaction that takes place inside the body. In this process, molecules of glucose are broken down. The process is anaerobic, which means that energy is released, and the reaction takes place without the presence of oxygen. For example, in the making of wine and alcoholic drinks, foaming occurs, which reflects that it is the fermentation process.

Alcohol and Lactic Acid Fermentation both are fermentation processes, but the difference is seen in their end products or the products which result after the fermentation process. The Lactic Acid Fermentation process is seen in the human body in building up muscles and is also involved in curd making process. In contrast, Alcohol Fermentation is involved in yeasts processes and producing alcoholic drinks like beer, wine, etc.

Alcohol vs Lactic Acid Fermentation 

The difference between Alcohol and Lactic Acid Fermentation is that Alcohol fermentation does not take place inside our body normally, and it produces ethanol and carbon dioxide from its pyruvate molecule. While the Lactic Acid fermentation process also takes place inside our body for building up muscles. And it produces lactic acid molecules from the pyruvate molecules.

Alcohol fermentation is a biological reaction. In this reaction, sugars like fructose, glucose, and sucrose are converted into cellular energy, which helps in the functioning of the cell. And the result of this reaction produces ethanol and carbon dioxide. It is an anaerobic reaction because it takes place in the absence of oxygen, and mostly this process is seen in yeasts.

Lactic Acid fermentation is considered a metabolic process in which glucose and other types of sugars like disaccharides etc., are converted into energy or cell energy, and it also produces an acid called Lactic acid. This reaction is also anaerobic and is usually seen in some bacteria, in animal cells, such are muscle cells, also known as myocytes.

Comparison Table Between Alcohol and Lactic Acid Fermentaion

Parameters of ComparisonAlcohol FermentationLactic Acid Fermentaion
DefinitionAlcohol Fermentation signifies a metabolic process with the help of which glucose is converted into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Lactic Acid Fermentation signifies a metabolic process in which glucose is converted into lactate and cellular energy.
Steps involved The Alcohol Fermentation process takes place in two steps. The Lactic Acid Fermentation Process is short, and the whole process involves only one step.
OccurrenceThis process usually occurs in yeasts and other microorganisms. The Lactic Acid Fermentation process occurs in lactobacillus species, yeasts, and muscle cells.
Process namesAlcohol fermentation involves two processes one is pyruvate decarboxylase and alcohol dehydrogenase. It involves lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate decarboxylase.
UsageIt is used in making bread, beer, wine, vinegar, and other alcoholic drinks. It is used in the manufacture of yogurt and cheese, etc.
Produces Alcohol fermentation produces ethanol and carbon dioxide from its pyruvate molecule. Lactic Acid fermentation builds lactic acid molecules from the pyruvate.

What is Alcohol Fermentation?

Alcohol is also known as ethanol, is made through a fermentation reaction which is called an Alcohol fermentation reaction. The absence of oxygen is a suitable condition for this reaction to occur. This chemical reaction produces two important substances as its by-products that is ethanol and carbon dioxide (CO2). Fishes also go through this reaction, and it provides them cellular energy.

The by-product of this reaction that is ethanol is very much demanded by the markets. As it is used in making lacquers like wine, beer, and whiskey, etc., and it also has several medical uses. It is also antiinfective in nature which is why it is used in cleaning chemicals and sanitizers etc. Ethanol can also be made without the fermentation process, and that ethanol is called synthetic ethanol.

If oxygen is involved in the alcohol fermentation process, it will not produce the required ethanol; instead, it will produce CO2 and water as its by-products. This reaction also takes place in bread making, in which sugar is consumed by yeasts, and by-products are released.

What is Lactic Acid Fermentation?

The Lactic Acid fermentation process signifies a metabolic process in which sugars and their variants are converted into lactate and cellular energy. This process also does not require oxygen, and if oxygen is present many organisms will not go through this creation; instead, they will do cellular respiration. But there are some organisms like facultative which can do both the reactions in the presence of oxygen.

The commonly known product which is produced through Lactic Acid fermentation is yogurt. It is a very popular dairy industry product that is consumed worldwide. Some of the main Lactic acid-forming bacterial strains are Escherichia, Enterobacter, and Citrobacter. And one of the most important bacteria that does Lactic Acid fermentation is lactobacillus bacteria.

Lactic Acid fermentation is the main cause of muscle cramps in our body. It occurs because of a lack of oxygen which usually happens after an intense amount of work or exercise and thus results in Lactic Acid fermentation in our muscles.

Main Differences Between Alcohol and Lactic Acid Fermentation

  1. Alcohol Fermentation signifies a metabolic process with the help of which glucose (C6H12O6) is converted into ethanol and carbon dioxide. On the other hand, Lactic Acid Fermentation signifies a metabolic process in which glucose is converted into lactate and cell energy.
  2. The Lactic Acid Fermentation Process is short, and the whole process involves only one step. Whereas The Alcohol Fermentation process takes place in two steps and takes more time.
  3. Alcohol fermentation involves two processes one is pyruvate decarboxylase and alcohol dehydrogenase. While Lactic Acid fermentation involves lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate decarboxylase.
  4. The Lactic Acid Fermentation process occurs in lactobacillus species, yeasts, and muscle cells. And the Alcohol fermentation process usually occurs in yeasts and other microorganisms.
  5. Lactic Acid fermentation builds lactic acid molecules from the pyruvate molecules. Whereas Alcohol fermentation produces ethanol and carbon dioxide from its pyruvate molecule.

Conclusion

Several types of chemical reactions take place in our daily life, even inside our bodies. Many chemical relations take place and are called biochemical reactions. For example, the respiration process is a daily chemical reaction that occurs inside our bodies. These reactions release energy which helps us in our daily body functioning. Most of these chemical reactions occur inside the cell of the body.

Alcohol fermentation reaction does not require oxygen for glucose breakdown. This reaction takes place in two steps and is mostly seen in yeasts and other microscopic bacteria. As a by-product, it produces ethanol and carbon dioxide. Ethanol is used in many industries like in lacquer industry, drug industry, etc. While the Lactic Acid fermentation process mostly takes place in lactobacillus organisms and also in animal cells.

References

  1. https://www.osti.gov/etdeweb/biblio/5086960
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0734975007000961
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