Cereals including wheat and rice form the largest class of food. Bread is the most commonly found cereal-based fermented food.
(a) Chinese Minchin: This is made from wheat gluten and used as a solid condiment. The fungal species involved in fermentation include Aspergillus sp., Chadosporium sp., Fusarium syncephalastum, and Paecilomyces sp. (Padmaja and George 1999); (b) Chinese red rice (Anka): This is produced by fermenting rice with various strains of M. purpureus Went. It is used to color foods such as fish, rice wine, red soybean cheese, pickled vegetables, and salted meats. To make Anka, polished rice is washed, steamed, cooled, inoculated with M. purpureas, and allowed to ferment for a few weeks. Anka has been reported to be effective in treating indigestion and dysentery (Su and Wang 1977); (c) Jalabies: These are syrup-filled confectionery available in India, Nepal, and Pakistan made from wheat flour. Saccharomyces bayanus and bacteria are involved in fermentation (Padmaja and George 1999); (d) Indian Kanji: This is made from rice and carrots. It is a sour liquid added to vegetables. H. anomala is involved in fermentation (Padmaja and George 1999); (e) Indian Torani: This is prepared from rice and used as a seasoning for vegetables. H. anomala, C. tropicalis, C. guilliermondii, and G. candidum are involved in fermentation (Padmaja and George 1999). The prevalence of bacteria and yeasts in Indian fermented foods during different seasons varies. Yeasts such as Candida vortiovaarai, C. krusei, and Kluyveromyces marxianus are frequently present in the winter. H. anomala, P. membranefaciens, S. cerevisiae, and T. beigelii are present in both summer and winter (Soni and Sandhu 1999).
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