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1 definition found
 for chemical ferments
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Ferment \Fer"ment\, n. [L. fermentum ferment (in senses 1 & 2),
     perh. for fervimentum, fr. fervere to be boiling hot, boil,
     ferment: cf. F. ferment. Cf. 1st Barm, Fervent.]
     1. That which causes fermentation, as yeast, barm, or
        fermenting beer.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: Ferments are of two kinds: ({a) Formed or organized
           ferments. ({b) Unorganized or structureless ferments.
           The latter are now called enzymes and were formerly
           called soluble ferments or chemical ferments.
           Ferments of the first class are as a rule simple
           microscopic vegetable organisms, and the fermentations
           which they engender are due to their growth and
           development; as, the acetic ferment, the butyric
           ferment, etc. See Fermentation. Ferments of the
           second class, on the other hand, are chemical
           substances; as a rule they are proteins soluble in
           glycerin and precipitated by alcohol. In action they
           are catalytic and, mainly, hydrolytic. Good examples
           are pepsin of the dastric juice, ptyalin of the salvia,
           and disease of malt. Before 1960 the term "ferment" to
           mean "enzyme" fell out of use. Enzymes are now known to
           be globular proteins, capable of catalyzing a wide
           variety of chemical reactions, not merely hydrolytic.
           The full set of enzymes causing production of ethyl
           alcohol from sugar has been identified and individually
           purified and studied. See enzyme.
           [1913 Webster +PJC]
  
     2. Intestine motion; heat; tumult; agitation.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Subdue and cool the ferment of desire. --Rogers.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              the nation is in a ferment.           --Walpole.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. A gentle internal motion of the constituent parts of a
        fluid; fermentation. [R.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Down to the lowest lees the ferment ran. --Thomson.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     ferment oils, volatile oils produced by the fermentation of
        plants, and not originally contained in them. These were
        the quintessences of the alchemists. --Ure.
        [1913 Webster]

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