Specific oxygen uptake (OUR) is used as a process control parameter in fermentation processes. OUR is determined during at least the production phase of a fermentation process, and process parameters are adjusted to maintain the OUR within desired ranges. The invention is particularly applicable when the fermentation is conducted using a microorganism having a natural PDC pathway that has been disrupted so that it no longer functions. Microorganisms of this sort often produce poorly under strictly anaerobic conditions. Microaeration controlled by monitoring OUR allows the performance of the microorganism to be optimized.