Industrial Applications

Volume 10 of the series The Mycota pp 29-58


Asian Fungal Fermented Food

  • M. J. Robert NoutAffiliated withLaboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University Email author 
  • , Kofi E. AidooAffiliated withFood Research Laboratories, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University

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In Asian countries, there is a long history of fermentation of foods and beverages. Diverse micro-organisms, including bacteria, yeasts and moulds, are used as starters, and a wide range of ingredients can be made into fermented foods. The main raw materials include cereals, leguminous seeds, vegetables, meat and fish. This chapter focuses on some representative foods, their traditional manufacturing, the major fungi involved in the fermentation, the biochemical changes taking place during fermentation and their implications for human health, and aspects of their industrialization. The foods discussed are: (1) tempe, an Indonesian meat alternative consisting of cooked soy beans fermented with Rhizopus spp., (2) red kojic rice or angkak, a pigmented health-functional ingredient consisting of rice fermented by Monascus spp., (3) amylolytic starters used for alcoholic fermentation, consisting of rice flour and a range of starch degrading moulds and alcohol producing yeasts, (4) furu, a condiment side dish consisting of soya bean curd fermented and partially degraded by the mould Actinomucor elegans, (5) soy sauce, a condiment sauce made from wheat and soy beans and fermented with Aspergillus spp., yeasts and lactic acid bacteria, (6) rice wines, such as sake, fermented with various moulds and yeasts, and (7) Chinese liquor, distilled from yeast fermented cooked sorghum. Conclusions and future prospects are discussed.