Other cereal-based beverages


Chicha is a traditional beverage produced in South America and was already produced by the Incas (Vallej o et al., 2013). The production starts by steeping and germination of maize grains to get a maize malt (Vallejo et al., 2013). Alternatively, the maize is chewed to convert the starch into fermentable sugars by the action of the amylase in saliva (Gomes et al., 2009). Besides maize, also cassava and cane sugar can be used in the production of chicha (Gomes et al., 2009). After cooking, the mixture is poured into clay pots, which are buried, and the liquid is left to ferment for 1 up to 6 days (Gomes et al., 2009; Vallejo et al., 2013). The end-product of the fermentation primarily contains S. cerevisiae yeasts (Vallejo et al., 2013). As these beers are produced locally and the recipe can differ between two producers, the microorganisms present in the beers can differ greatly. Several LAB are described to be involved in chicha fermentation, including Lb. plantarum, Weissella viridescens, Enterococcus faecium and Leuc. mesenteroides (Elizaquivel et al., 2015). Since the clay fermentation pots are reused for every fermentation and no bacteria or yeasts are pitched to start the fermentation, the microbiota involved in the fermentation of chicha probably penetrate into the clay surface; a new yeast species, Candida theae, was recently isolated from chicha clay fermentation pots found in a tomb (Chang et al., 2012).

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