Solid Substrate Fermentation (SSF) describes the microbiological tranformation of biological materials in their natural state, in contrast with liquid or submerged fermentations which are carried out in dilute solutions or slurries. The most important industrial microorganisms used in SSF are filamentous fungi and the critical factors in their growth are the control of the moisture level and the temperature. Traditionally, most SSFs are conducted in shallow trays (so that heat build up is avoided) and stacked in a moist chamber, however, the modern SSF should be able to mix large amounts of substrate for a uniform fermentation, maximum automization scale-up of the process, continuous operation and fermentation control and a promising new design is the Helical screw fermenter. At the present time SSF is used in the production of foods (e.g. mushrooms and oriental foods) in municipal, agricultural and industrial solid waste disposal and in the production of enzymes and speciality chemicals but it does not seem likely that it will replace prevalent liquid fermentation technologies. 29 references.