Food Fermentations: Mucorales in Ragi and Related Products

  • Clifford W. Hesseltine


In the Orient dry inoculum is prepared and sold for use as starter cultures in alcohol and food fermentations based upon starchy substrates such as rice and cassava. These starters—called chinese yeast, ragi, murcha, bubod, and look pang—are still used today in China, Taiwan, India, Nepal, Tibet, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indochina, and Korea. The same types of microorganisms are found in these starters and consist of bacteria, yeast, and mucoraceous fungi. The predominant bacteria were found by Hesseltine and Ray (1988) to be species of Pediococcus and Streptococcus. The yeasts were found by Hesseltine and Kurtzman (1990) to be Succharomycopsis fibuligera (Linder) Klocker, S. malanga (Dwid.) Kurtzman, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Meyen ex Hansen, and Pichia anomala (Hansen) Kurtzman. A general review of the literature of these products has recently appeared (Hesseltine et al., 1988). That review also reported the numbers and kinds of microorganisms in inoculum from India, Nepal, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The mucoraceous fungi consisted of Mucor,Rhizopus, and Amylomyces with counts of Mucor as high as 2 × 106 ml; Rhizopus,2.5 × 106 ml; and Amylomyces, 5 × 104 ml.


Potato Dextrose Agar Food Fermentation Glutinous Rice Mucor Circinelloides Pichia Anomala 
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© Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Inc. 1992

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  • Clifford W. Hesseltine

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