These are primitive beers and wines prepared by villages in the developing countries. They are cloudy slurries containing residues and microorganisms including yeasts, and hence are a source of B vitamins, proteins, amino acids, and calories.
(a) Ethiopian Tej: This is a home-processed honey wine fermented by Saccharomyces species present in the environment that convert sugars to ethanol. To make Ethiopian tej, honey, water, and hop stems are fermented in a pot for about 1 week at high ambient temperature or 2 weeks at low temperature with stirring daily. The mixture is then filtered through cloth several times and the final filtrate is collected (Vogel and Gobezie 1977); (b) Kenyan Urwaga: This is a slightly sour drink prepared from bananas, maize, millet, or sorghum. Yeasts and lactic acid bacteria are involved in the process of fermentation. To make Urwaga, green bananas are ripened in a covered pit lined with banana leaves. The peeled bananas are mixed with grass and the juice is forced out by squeezing by hand. A roasted flour mixture made from maize, sorghum and millet is mixed with the banana juice and fermented in the covered pit for half a day or one (Harkishor 1977); (c) African Kaffir (Kaffircorn) (Sorghum) Beer: This has a sour, yogurt-like flavor. The brewing process involves lactic acid fermentation and an alcoholic fermentation. Lactic acid fermentation by lactic acid bacteria causes souring. The yeast S. cerevisiae is used for alcoholic fermentation (Hesseltine 1979); (d) Nigerian Pito: This is a slightly bitter, sweet-sour beverage with a fruity flavor produced by fermentation of maize or sorghum. The molds Rhizopus oryzae, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium funiculosum, and Penicillium citrinum play an undefined role in Pito fermentation. The bacteria Leuconotoc sp. and Lactobacillus sp. and the yeasts Saccharomyces and Candida spp. are also present during fermentation. Amylases from the germinated maize or sorghum grains and the molds present on the grains cause hydrolysis of starch in the grains to form maltose and glucose. The yeasts ferment the sugars to form ethanol. The lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid (Ekundayo 1977); (e) South America fermented maize chichi: This has a ciderlike flavor. Molds including Aspergillus and Penicillium spp., yeasts including S. cerevisiae, S. apiculata, S. pastorianus, and Mycoderma vini, and lactic acid bacteria are present. Amylase needed for hydrolysis of starch is produced from germinated maize or from human saliva. Chicha produced using saliva reportedly has a better flavor (Gomez 1949); (f) Mexican Tesguino: This is prepared by fermentation of germinated maize or maize stalk juice. To make Mexican Tesguino, germinated maize kernels or maize cane stems are first mixed with water and boiled. Catalysts, which include yeasts, vitamins, enzymes, or growth factors, are added before fermentation. S. cerevisiae, C. guilliermondii, and H. anomala are important in the alcoholic fermentation of Tesquino (Lappe and Ulloa 1989); (g) Philippine Basi: This is sugar cane wine. Sugar cane juice is boiled and fermented with a mixture of molds, yeasts, and bacteria in an earthenware jar for 6 months to 1 year (Sakai and Caldo 1984); (h) Philippine Tapuy: This is a sweet rice wine. To make Philippine Tapuy, the rice is washed, cooked, cooled, and placed in a clay pot. Powdered bubod is then inoculated for fermentation which lasts for 2-3 days. The rice and the liquid collected on top can be consumed separately or together. The amylase-producing yeasts Saccharomyces uvarum and Endomycopsis (Saccharomycopsis) and the lactic acid bacteria are the dominant organisms present (Sakai and Caldo 1983); (i) Japanese Sake: This is a rice wine made from steamed rice overgrown with Aspergillus oryzae mycelium. The yeast Saccharomyces sake also plays a role. The process of sake brewing first involves the preparation of polished, steeped, and steamed rice, followed by the preparation of starter consisting of yeast and lactic acid bacteria. Consecutive addition of more steamed rice, rice koji (A. oryzae) and water are then followed by the main fermentation, which takes place in an open system without the exclusion of nonstarter microorganisms. The combination of hydrolysis of starch by A. oryzae and slow fermentation by the yeast Saccharomyces sake at a temperature below 10°C is referred to as parallel fermentation, which gives rise to the high (15-20%) ethanol content of sake (Murakami 1972); (j) Tea Fungus/Kombucha: Several types of yeast including C. guilliermondiil, Pichia membranefaciens, Saccharomyces sp., and Torulopsis formata are present in Japanese tea fungus. Candida obtuse and Kloeckera apiculata are present in Formosan tea fungus (Kozaki et al. 1972). Reiss (1994) reported that tea fungus consists of Acetobacter xylimum and the following yeasts in symbiosis: Pichia sp., Saccharomyces ludwigii, and Saccharomyces pombe. The yeasts produce ethanol from the sugars added and Acetobacter oxidizes ethanol to acetic acid. It is believed that tea fungus enhances hepatic detoxification and inhibits tumorigenesis; (k) Chinese Spirits, Wines, and Beers: Some are made from barley or wheat and brans overgrown with Aspergillus while others are made from rice or rice bean overgrown with Mucor or Rhizopus (Chen and Ho 1989); (l) Chinese Lao-Chao: This is made from fermentation of glutinous rice. The fungi and yeasts grown on rice flour include R. oryzae, Rhizopus chinensis, and Amylomyces rauxii (Wang and Hesseltine 1970). The yeasts ferment the starch; (m) Indian Ruhi: This is prepared by fermentation of boiled rice. Boiled rice is spread, cooled, and mixed with the inoculum, which is comprised of molds belonging to genera Rhizopus and Mucor and yeasts (Dahiya and Prabhu 1977). It is then poured into a basket. The rice liquefies upon fermentation and the liquid is collected in a pot beneath the basket. (n) Indian Madhu: This is made by fermentation of boiled rice by lactic acid bacterial spp., Mucor and Rhizopus spp. (Dahiya and Prabhu 1977). Sugars formed by the hydrolysis of starch are fermented to form alcohol and lactic acid; (o) Whisky: S. cerevisiae is involved. Corn, rye, and barley are used. There are several types (a) Scotch whisky produced from water and malted barley to which only whole grains of other cereals may be added. (b) Irish whisky made from unmalted barley. Compared with Scotch whisky it has higher ethanol content and a stronger flavor but lacks the peat characteristics. (c) Canadian whisky with a light flavor and made from corn, rye, and barley malt. The spirits must be aged for a minimum of three years. (d) American rye whisky containing at least 51% rye, American corn whisky containing at least 80% corn, American light whisky containing a large percentage of corn, and Bourbon whisky containing at least 51% corn (Russell and Stewart 1999).
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