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Fermented beverages hold a long tradition and contribution to the nutrition of many societies and cultures worldwide. Traditional fermentation has been empirically developed in ancient times as a process of raw food preservation and at the same time production of new foods with different sensorial characteristics, such as texture, flavour and aroma, as well as nutritional value. Low-alcoholic fermented beverages (LAFB) and non-alcoholic fermented beverages (NAFB) represent a subgroup of fermented beverages that have received rather little attention by consumers and scientists alike, especially with regard to their types and traditional uses in European societies. A literature review was undertaken and research articles, review papers and textbooks were searched in order to retrieve data regarding the dietary role, nutrient composition, health benefits and other relevant aspects of diverse ethnic LAFB and NAFB consumed by European populations. A variety of traditional LAFB and NAFB consumed in European regions, such as kefir , kvass , kombucha and hardaliye , are presented. Milk-based LAFB and NAFB are also available on the market, often characterised as ‘functional’ foods on the basis of their probiotic culture content. Future research should focus on elucidating the dietary role and nutritional value of traditional and ‘functional’ LAFB and NAFB, their potential health benefits and consumption trends in European countries. Such data will allow for LAFB and NAFB to be included in national food composition tables.
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Traditional low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented beverages consumed
in European countries: a neglected food group
Aristea Baschali
1
,Efe Tsakalidou
2
, Adamantini Kyriacou
1
, Nena Karavasiloglou
1
and Antonia-Leda Matalas
1
*
1
Harokopio University, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, 70 El. Venizelou, Kallithea, 17671, Athens, Greece
2
Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Laboratory of Dairy Research, 75 Iera
Odos, 11855, Athens, Greece
Abstract
Fermented beverages hold a long tradition and contribution to the nutrition of many societies and cultures worldwide. Traditional
fermentation has been empirically developed in ancient times as a process of raw food preservation and at the same time production of new
foods with different sensorial characteristics, such as texture, avour and aroma, as well as nutritional value. Low-alcoholic fermented
beverages (LAFB) and non-alcoholic fermented beverages (NAFB) represent a subgroup of fermented beverages that have received rather
little attention by consumers and scientists alike, especially with regard to their types and traditional uses in European societies. A literature
review was undertaken and research articles, review papers and textbooks were searched in order to retrieve data regarding the dietary role,
nutrient composition, health benets and other relevant aspects of diverse ethnic LAFB and NAFB consumed by European populations.
A variety of traditional LAFB and NAFB consumed in European regions, such as ker,kvass,kombucha and hardaliye, are presented.
Milk-based LAFB and NAFB are also available on the market, often characterised as functionalfoods on the basis of their probiotic culture
content. Future research should focus on elucidating the dietary role and nutritional value of traditional and functionalLAFB and NAFB, their
potential health benets and consumption trends in European countries. Such data will allow for LAFB and NAFB to be included in national
food composition tables.
Key words: Fermented beverages: Low-alcoholic beverages: Non-alcoholic beverages: Europe: Dairy products: Local foods
Introduction
Ten thousand years ago, after the onset of agriculture, mans
dietary adaptation to a few plant and animal species gave rise to
new techniques in order to enhance the nutrient composition
and, often simultaneously, rid their foodstuffs of their anti-
nutritional effects
(1,2)
. At the same time, settlement forced
humans to collect foods as a store of supplies to secure food
availability during periods of bad weather, when fresh food and
safe drinking water were not readily available
(3)
. Especially for
alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine, data from recent
research support their contribution to the transition of our
ancestors from huntergatherers to farmers
(14)
. Based on
archaeological and archaeobotanical ndings, it is generally
believed that over 9000 years ago individuals of the globe were
already fermenting beverages
(5)
. For instance, remnants in jars
and vessels suggest that winemaking was popular in Neolithic
Egypt and Middle East
(1,2,6)
. Overall, food fermentation stands
as a remarkable benchmark in the history of human societies.
Historically, besides their role in human nourishment,
fermented beverages have found other uses as well. They have
been used as exchangeable products for labourers who worked
in the construction of pyramids in Egypt and in royal cities and
irrigation networks in ancient Central American cultures
(1,2)
.
Furthermore, many ancient cultures have used alcoholic
fermented drinks as medicines; in ancient Egypt, Rome and
Greece as well as in ancient Mesopotamia and China, fermented
beverages were used to relieve pain and to prevent or treat
diseases
(7)
.Koumiss, a traditional alcoholic fermented beverage
of Kazakh nomads made from maresmilk had been used by
Russian doctors for the treatment of tuberculosis and
diarrhoea
(8)
. Sorghum beer, a good niacin source, has helped to
prevent pellagra in Southern Africa
(1,2)
. It has also been
observed that children who consumed the dregs of sorghum
beer were protected against the development of pellagra
(9)
.In
the United Republic of Tanzania, it has been observed that
children who consumed fermented gruels showed a decrease in
the number of reports for diarrhoea by one-third as opposed to
those who were fed with unfermented gruels; this difference
was attributed to the inhibitory effect of the microbiota of
fermentation towards pathogenic bacteria
(1,2)
.
Fermentation cοntributes to food security, especially in agro-
pastoralist societies. As an example, in Indonesia, the wastes of
groundnut press cake and tapioca are often fermented to
Nutrition Research Reviews
*Corresponding author: Antonia-Leda Matalas, fax +30 1 9549152, email amatala@hua.gr
Abbreviations: LAB, lactic acid bacteria; LAFB, low-alcoholic fermented beverage; NAFB, non-alcoholic fermented beverage.
Nutrition Research Reviews, page 1 of 24 doi:10.1017/S0954422416000202
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produce nutritious foods, namely tempte-bongrek and ontjom,
foods that are important in the daily regimen of the poorest
individuals
(8)
, while koumiss had been used as a safe and easy
to transport beverage for nomadic populations of Central Asia,
who had to travel very often to places with variations in climatic
and environmental conditions
(9)
.Kawal, a fermented product
made of the leaves of a wild African legume, is believed to have
helped children and adults in Sudan endure the 19831985
famine
(8)
.
Fermentation enables the preservation of foods as well as the
transformation of the raw material into a new product with
unique sensorial properties
(4,1012)
and enhanced nutritional
value. Food and beverages that are prepared via a fermentation
process represent an important part of human nutrition in
practically every food culture around the world
(4)
. Fermented/
pickled fruits and vegetables are very popular in many regions
of Europe, Asia, America and Africa and Middle East
(13)
.
Fermented fruit juices, tea leaves and products in brine are
widely consumed in Asia. Fermented cereals, roots and tubes,
such as pickles, porridges and gruels, make a major contribu-
tion to dietary staples in countries across Africa, Asia, Europe
and Latin America
(13)
, while fermented seeds and sh are also
widespread in many regions around the globe
(13)
. With regard
to fermented foods in liquid form, in Western societies, bev-
erages made with alcohol-producing yeasts, such as beers and
wines, are the dominant ones
(3,14)
. Alcoholic drinks played an
important role throughout most of Western civilisations history
as a source for hydration and energy; however, in most recent
history, they are responsible for many major health and social
destructors. But fermentation need not always result in a
beverage with alcoholic content. Low-alcoholic fermented
beverages (LAFB) and non-alcoholic fermented beverages
(NAFB) have been treasured as major dietary constituents in
numerous European countries because of their keeping quality
under ambient conditions and prolonged shelf-life, thereby
contributing to food security and improving food safety
(15)
. The
use of the terms alcoholic beverage,LAFBand NAFBis
subject to varying regulations in different European countries.
According to EU Regulation 169/2011 on the provision of Food
information to consumers and the European Parliament Reso-
lution 2015/2543 (RSP) an alcoholic beveragecontains an
alcoholic strength by volume(ABV; the number of litres of
ethanol contained in 100 litres of wine, both volumes being
measured at a temperature of 20°C) of more than 1·2%,
whereas a low-alcoholic beveragerefers only to beverages
which have an ABV of 1·2 % or less. For the majority of the
European countries, the limit of ABV for a non-alcoholic
beverageis considered 0·5%.
The diversity of traditional fermented beverages in Asia and
Africa has been well described in review articles and text-
books
(4,5,11,15,16)
. For example, the rich legacy and diversity of
traditional fermented foods and beverages of the Himalayas
have recently been recorded by Tamang & Samuel
(17)
. How-
ever, the scientic literature contains limited information on
LAFB and NAFB prepared and consumed by European popu-
lations. Thus, the primary purpose of the present review is to
provide an overview of the research regarding traditional LAFB
and NAFB in European cuisines, including a documentation of
the different types and a record of their modern and traditional
names. Second, this review aims at comprehensively presenting
information on the raw material undergoing the fermentation,
the microbiota involved, as well as the health effects, dietary
importance and cultural aspects of the endproducts. The results
of this research are summarised in the tables, but selected
traditional beverages are presented extensively. Finally,
because in the last decades the food and beverage industry has
focused on the revival and re-introduction of these indigenous
beverages, their place in the European market and their
perspectives and innovations are discussed.
Diversity of traditional low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic
fermented beverages
Traditional LAFB and NAFB constitute an integral part of food
culture of many European countries. They represent socially
accepted products for habitual as well as ritual consumption. A
diversity of traditional LAFB and NAFB
(1,9)
are produced from
both edible and inedible raw materials in many European
countries. Some of these beverages are well documented in the
scientic literature, but for most of them, the existing infor-
mation with regard to the names used (traditional and modern),
the substrate and microbiota of fermentation involved, the
spread of their consumption, the preparation method(s), the
nutrient composition and perceptions on their nutritional value
is incomplete. A wide range of substrates, including milk,
cereals, fruits and vegetables, are used for the production of
LAFB and NAFB. These substrates provide the criteria for the
integration of traditional LAFB and NAFB into different
categories. Representative examples of traditional LAFB and
NAFB are presented in each category of these beverages.
Traditional fermented low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic
milk-based beverages
Ker.Keror kefyr (in Central Asia and Middle East) or kephir/
kiaphur/kefer/knapon/kepi/kippi (in the BalkanCaucasian
region) is one of the oldest milk-based fermented
beverages
(9,1719)
(Table 1). It can be made from any type of
milk (goats, sheeps, cows, camel, buffalo) and ker
grains
(9,17)
. Nowadays, novel varieties are also being made from
milk substitutes, such as soya, rice and coconut milk
(18,2023)
.
The word keroriginates from the Turkish word keyif , which
means good feelingand is believed to describe the sense
experienced when consumed
(20,24)
. It has been traditionally
prepared by shepherds in the Caucasus mountains
(20,22,24,25)
in
bags made from animal hides, oak barrels or earthenware
pots
(19)
.Kers production and consumption originate from the
countries of Eastern Europe, especially the BalkanCaucasian
region and Russia
(9,11,18,22,25,26)
. It has been widely consumed in
Soviet countries for centuries; however, nowadays it is
increasingly popular in Japan, the USA, the Middle East and
Africa
(9)
.
The type and amount of milk and the complex interactions
between yeast and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) may inuence the
sensorial and textural properties of ker
(20)
. Specically, its
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2 A. Baschali et al.
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Nutrition Research Reviews
Table 1. Examples of traditional milk-based low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented beverages consumed in European countries
Name Substrate Sensory property and nature Alcoholic content Other metabolites Nature of use
Kefir Any kind of milk (goats, sheeps,
cows, camel, buffalo) and milk
substitutes, such as soya milk,
rice and coconut milk
(18,2023)
Self-carbonated, viscous, uniform
creamy and elastic consistency,
sour, acidic and slightly alcoholic,
tart flavour, perceptible yeast
aroma, slightly foamy body and
white or yellowish
colour
(9,17,18,20,21,2426,166)
Usually below 2 %
(18,20,21,25)
Lactic acid, ethanol, CO
2
, volatile
acids, acetaldehyde, diacetyl and
acetoin, biogenic
amines
(18,20,21,2426)
Easily digested, effervescent
fermented milk beverage
(24,27,28)
with health-promoting
effects
(9,21,25)
, antimicrobial
activity
(18,20)
, reduction of
symptoms of lactose intolerance
and anti-tumour activity
(18)
Ayran Milk (cowsor other type)
(22)
Low viscosity
(20,21)
Non-alcoholic
(20,21)
Lactic acid
(20)
Drinkable fermented milk, easily
digestible, consumed mainly
during summer months
(20,21)
Buttermilk or clabbered milk Usually cowsmilk, less often from
buffalo milk
(9,23)
Fluid with very low viscosity
(19)
,
acidic, sour taste
(9)
, slightly
yellowish colour
(19)
Health drink
(9,19)
, particular in
summer
(19)
, may be used in
cooking the same way as sour
cream
(19)
Bulgarian or Bulgaricus
buttermilk or Bulgarian
milk
(2,4,40)
Boiled goatsor cowsmilk
(4,9,23)
Acidic, sour due to high acidity,
definitely impalatable
(9,40)
Sour milk, a type of cultured
buttermilk, a drink
(2,9,18)
Acidophilus milk Cowsmilk
(9,23,152)
Strong acid flavour, sour taste,
viscous
(9,18)
Traditional, medium acid-type
fermented beverage or drink
(9,152)
,
poor table beverage due to its
strong acid flavour
(18)
, cultured
milk
(40)
Sour milk Sheeps, cows, buffalo milk Non-cultured fermented milk
(19)
Tätmjölk Whole or skimmed milk
(19)
Extremely viscous in texture, very
mild acid taste and low
syneresis
(19)
Lactic acid, ethanol, carbon
dioxide
(19)
Fermented milk product
(18)
Surmjölk Whole or skimmed milk
(19)
Mild acidic taste, but more flavour
than tätmjölk, viscous texture
(19)
Traditional fermented milk, similar to
tätmjölk
(19)
Skyr
(19)
Ewesmilk
(2,19)
Rich and mild flavour due to lactic
acid, acetic acid, diacetyl,
acetaldehyde and ethanol
(19,26)
,is
still flavoured by Icelanders
(19)
,
concentrated texture
(19)
Lactic acid, acetic acid, diacetyl,
acetaldehyde and ethanol
(26)
Yoghurt or yoghurt-like milk
product
(19,26)
Filbunke
(19)
Whole milk
(19)
Gel texture
(19)
Traditional fermented milk and
variant product of either tätmjölk
and surmjölk
(19,167)
Keldermilk Milk
(26)
Cultured milk
(26)
Taette or Lapps milk
(2)
Cowsmilk
(169)
Viscous fermented milk, also known
as cellarmilk
(2)
Prokish Sheeps milk
(4)
Sour milk which later became
yoghurt
(4)
Laban Animal milk
(9)
Acidic, viscous
(9)
Yoghurt-like, served as a cool
drink
(9)
Prostokvasha
(2,39)
Sheeps milk Sour milk
(2)
Lyntyca
(39)
Sheeps milk
(39)
Whey-based fermented beverage
Žinčica (in Slovak) Sheeps milk
(39)
Whey-based fermented beverage,
kefir-like beverage
(39)
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Nutrition Research Reviews
Table 1. Continued
Nutrition data Microbiota of fermentation Functional proper ties Country of consumption in Europe
Status of fermentation (homemade/
industrialised)
Kefir Per 100 g: protein 3·03·4 g, fat 1·5g
and lactose 2·03·5 g, lactic acid
0·61·0 ml/100 ml
(19)
, vitamins B
1
,
B
12
,B
6
, K, ascorbic, folic acid, Ca,
P, Mg, amino acids
(21,28)
LAB, acetic acid bacteria, other
bacteria, yeasts, probably
moulds
(9,1720,22,2428,36,166)
Potentially probiotic
product
(18,20,21,24,25,28,36)
Originated: Caucasus
mountains
(20,22,24,25)
Consumed: Eastern Europe
(BalkanCaucasian region and
Russia)
(9,11,18,22,25,26)
, Soviet
countries
(9)
Homemade and industrialised
(24,26)
Ayran Total DM (1·0711 %), protein (1·44
3·48 %), salt (0·171·75 %) and
fat (0·13 %) and high content of
vitamins and Ca
(20)
LAB
(22)
Turkey
(2022)
, Cyprus
(26)
, Greece,
Albania, Bulgaria, Former
Yugoslavian Republic of
Macedonia
(26)
Homemade and industrialised
(20,21)
Buttermilk or clabbered milk LAB
(9)
Russia, Bulgaria (urgutnik from
sheeps milk), Ireland (clabber,
from sheeps milk), southern
Scandinavia (Finland, kirnupiima
from sheeps milk) and Hungary
(savanyutez from sheeps
milk)
(9,19,39)
Homemade
(19)
Bulgarian or Bulgaricus
buttermilk or Bulgarian
milk
(2,4,40)
LAB
(2,9,18,23)
Originated: Bulgaria (500 AD)
(2,4)
Consumed: Yugoslavia, Greece,
Turkey
(4)
, Albania, Romania
(9)
Homemade and industrialised
Acidophilus milk LAB
(9,18,23)
One of the first probiotic milks
derived by Metchnikoffs
observation
(18)
Russia
(26)
, East Europe, Greece,
Turkey, Scandinavia
(9)
Homemade and industrialised
Sour milk LAB
(19)
Iceland, Denmark, Southern Norway
and the remaining parts of
Sweden
(19)
Kisela varenika (Bosnia)
(39)
Snezhanka (Bulgaria)
Dickmilch (Germany)
(39)
Oxygala (Romania)
(39)
Homemade and industrialised
Tätmjölk Mesophilic lactic star ter cultures
(e.g. Lactococcus spp. and EPS-
producing Leuconostoc spp.)
(19)
In most of Norway and the northern
parts of Sweden, southern and
Western Finland
(19)
Homemade
Surmjölk Similar to those present in tätmjölk,
but using non-EPS-producing
micro-organisms
(19)
Sweden
(19)
Homemade
(19)
Skyr
(19)
LAB, yeast and moulds
(19)
Iceland
(2,19,26)
Homemade and industrialised
Filbunke
(19)
Without EPS strains
(19)
Finland
(9,18,19,26,167)
Homemade until 1950, nowadays
very limited
(19)
Keldermilk Scandinavia
(26)
Homemade
Taette or Lapps milk
(2)
LAB Norway
(2)
Homemade
Prokish Thrace (Greece)
(4)
Homemade
Laban LAB, yeasts
(9)
Turkey
(9)
Homemade and industrialised
Prostokvasha
(2,39)
LAB
(2)
Soviet Union
(2)
Homemade
Lyntyca
(39)
Poland
(39)
Homemade and industrialised
Žinčica (in Slovak) Czechoslovakia, Poland
(39)
Žinčice (in Czech), Żentyca (in
Polish)
Homemade and industrialised
LAB, lactic acid bacteria; EPS, exopolysaccharides.
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avour depends on the metabolism of LAB and yeast. Ethanol
has little impact on avour but may contribute to the aroma
(19)
.
Keris a self-carbonated (some effervescence caused by
carbon dioxide), slightly foamy and viscous beverage, with a
uniform creamy and elastic consistency and sour, acidic and
slightly alcoholic avour
(17,19,20,23,24)
. It also has a perceptible
yeast aroma and white or yellowish colour
(17,23)
.
Keris regarded as an easily digested, effervescent fermented
milk beverage and is esteemed for its nutritional value
(24,27,28)
.It
typically contains (per 100 g) 3·03·4 g of protein, 1·5 g of fat
and 2·03·5 g of lactose (after the fermentation stage). However,
the lactic acid content may range between 0·6 and 1·0 ml per
100 ml of the nal product
(19)
.Kers vitamin and amino acid
content increases during fermentation via biological
enrichment
(21,28)
. The fermenting action of kerbacteria and
yeasts increase the biological value of milk, increasing the
synthesis of B group vitamins. It has been proposed by many
researchers that during kerfermentation pyridoxine, vitamin
B
12
, folic acid and biotin are produced by the microbiota
(29,30)
,
but it depends on the type of milk and the microbiota
composition
(31)
. The incorporation of Propionibacterium
freudenreichii strains in the kermicrobiota may enrich the
product with vitamin B
12
( 32)
. Its alcoholic content is usually <2%
(<0·3 % (w/v) for Turkish ker)
(25)
.
Typically, the raw material used for the production of keris
cowsmilk, fortied with cheese whey (at homemade scale)
(33)
or ultraltered skimmed milk (at industrial scale)
(19)
. Two
methods have been described for kerproduction, the tradi-
tional (authentic) and the industrial (commercial)
(24,26)
. The
type of fermentation observed in keris the result of a yeast
lactic fermentation. Traditionally, kergrains are added to milk,
left at room temperature for fermentation for 1824 h; the grains
are then removed and can be used in a new fermentation cycle.
The resulting fermented milk is thus ready for consumption
(24)
.
Commercial types of kermay be blended with sugar and fruit
juices or avours
(18)
.
Microbiota identication shows that keris a symbiotic
combination of bacteria (about 8390 % LAB and acetic acid
bacteria), lactose-fermenting and lactose-negative yeasts (about
1017 %), such as Naumovozyma,Kluyveromyces,
Kazachstania, other bacterial groups and possibly moulds
(Geotrichum candidum), bound within a polysaccharide
matrix, known as kergrains or keran, made of casein and
complex sugars
(19,21,23,24,27)
.Kergrains are ltered off after
each use and reused for the inoculation of the next batch
(26)
.
Kermilk possesses a lower diversity of bacteria compared with
kergrains. Only four phyla have been identied in ker
samples, Actinomycetes, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteo-
bacteria, with Bacteroides traced only in kermilks
(34)
. Bacteria
involved in kers production belong to the genera Lactococcus,
Lactobacillus,Leuconostoc and Acetobacter
(22)
.Lactobacillus is
the dominant genus in the kergrains while Lactococcus and
Leuconostoc are prevalent in kermilk. Pyrosequencing
analysis of kersamples has revealed that the Acetobacter
genus is not always detected, indicating that it is not required
for the process of fermentation, contributing probably in other
characteristics of the product. Bidobacteriaceae were traced
only in a minor number of kergrains. High-throughput
sequencing enables the detection of bacterial genera associated
with the intestinal microbiota, rarely found in kersamples and
some of them (Faecalibacterium,Allistipes), identied for the
rst time in ker
(34)
. Because many of the LAB in the kergrains,
such as Lb. acidophillus,Lb. helveticus,Lb. casei,Pediococcus
dextrinicus,P. acidilactici,P. pentosaceus, etc.
(20,35)
, are known
to have probiotic properties, keris also being regarded as a
potentially probiotic product
(18,21,24,25,28,36,37)
. The microbial
counts of traditional and commercial kerare different. The
carbohydrate, fat and protein content of the milk used can affect
the microbiota prole
(20)
. The main metabolites of the ker
fermentation are lactic acid, produced by LAB and ethanol,
carbon dioxide, produced mainly by the yeasts but also by
heterofermentative LAB. Carbon dioxide content increases dur-
ing fermentation as the pH drops. If the fermentation is carried
out for longer than 24 h, carbon dioxide production plateaus
after 48h. The concentration of carbon dioxide in traditional ker
varies between 0·65 g/l (grain free, 24 h)1·33 g/l (grain
fermented, 24 h)
(38)
. Also, volatile acids, acetaldehyde, diacetyl
and acetoin (avour compounds) are found in smaller quantities,
while biogenic amines have been traced in kersamples but in
very low amounts, below the allowable limits
(19)
.
Ayran.Ayran is a dairy NAFB (Table 1). It is a salt-containing
yoghurt drink made from cowsmilk or other types of
milk
(20,21)
.Ayran is consumed in Turkey
(2022)
, Bulgaria,
Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan
(26)
.
Beverages that are similar to ayran include ayrani (Cyprus),
jugurt/eyran (Turkey), dhalle (Albania), ayryan (Bulgaria) and
ariani (Greece)
(26)
.Ayran is a low-viscosity drink, easily
digestible and consumed mainly during the summer
months
(20,21)
. Its composition depends on the type of milk used,
the milks fat content and the dilution rate used; for instance, its
protein content by weight may range between 1·5 and 3·5%
(20)
.
Ayran is traditionally prepared by blending yoghurt with
water (3050 %) and salt (0·51 %), is produced daily and
consumed fresh (homemade version)
(20)
. It can also be
produced industrially by the addition of Streptococcus
thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
to standardised milk (industrial version)
(20,21)
. The resulting
microbial composition of homemade ayran is generally similar
to that of yoghurt
(20,22)
. Microbiota of fermentation consists of
LAB bacteria such as Lb. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and S.
thermophilus, with microbial populations varying due to several
factors, such as the increase of the acidity
(20,22)
. The population
of yoghurt bacteria in industrially produced ayran is higher
than in homemade ayran
(20)
. Some strains of Lb. delbrueckii
subsp. bulgaricus, which are used as a starter culture, may
produce bitter peptides
(20)
. Furthermore, lactic acid may be
produced by the starter cultures, even during storage
(post-acidication).
Buttermilk. Buttermilk (or clabbered milk) can be classied as
a LAFB and is usually made from cowsmilk and, less often,
from buffalo milk
(9,23)
(Table 1). Buttermilks preparation has
been always associated with butter production. For this reason,
it is consumed in regions where butter-making is common
(19)
,
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for example, Russia, Bulgaria (urgutnik made from sheeps
milk), Ireland (clabber made from sheeps milk), Southern
Scandinavia (the Finnish kirnupiima made from sheeps milk)
and Hungary (savanyutez made from sheeps milk), particularly
during the summer months
(9,19,39)
. It is also consumed in the
USA, Canada, the Middle East, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Australia
and New Zealand
(9)
. Natural buttermilk is different from
Bulgarian buttermilk or acidophilus milk
(40)
. Nowadays,
buttermilk has been mostly replaced by its modern version,
cultured buttermilk
(18,19)
. Buttermilk is a uid of very low
viscosity (due to the mechanical treatment, the churning of the
cream)
(19)
and can be slightly yellowish in colour (usually due
to the addition of a colouring agent during butter production). It
has a sour taste
(9)
. Besides being used as a beverage, buttermilk
can be used in cooking as well, in the same way as sour cream.
Traditionally, buttermilk is produced right after milk or cream
is churned
(18,40)
, as a part of the butter-making process
(18)
,
while the overall quality of buttermilk is entirely dependent on
how the process of butter making is optimised
(19)
. The micro-
biota involved in the fermentation process includes mesophilic
LAB
(9)
. The micro-organisms present in the starter culture are
similar to those used for the production of surmjolk, a tradi-
tional fermented milk consumed mainly in the Southern and
Western parts of Nordic countries
(19)
. The optimal temperature
of buttermilk production is 1722°C, while this range of
temperature reassures the growth of mesophilic LAB
(18)
.
Traditional fermented non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic
cereal-based beverages
Boza.Boza, a cereal-based fermented beverage, is a type of
millet beer. In this respect, its origin can be traced back to 8000
9000 years ago, when cereals were rst fermented by man to
produce beverages
(41)
(Table 2). The word boza derives from
the Persian word buze
(40)
, which means millet. It is made from
wheat or rice semolina or from a combination of rye, oat, barley
and millet our for best quality and taste
(22,41)
. Maize can also be
one of the raw materials
(20,22,4245)
mixed with sugar
(15,21,44,46)
.
Boza is widely consumed in Turkey
(2022,4446)
and in other
countries of the Balkan Peninsula, such as Bulgaria (Soa, Varna,
Burgas)
(2022,4244,46,47)
,Albania
(21,44,46)
,Romania
(21,43,44,46)
,
South Russia, Fyrom
(21)
, Anatolia, Middle East and Northern
Persia
(41)
.Braga or brascha is a similar beverage consumed in
East European countries, Busa is another similar beverage con-
sumed in the Balkans (cocoa is included in the standard boza
recipe), while bouza is also a similar beverage consumed in
Egypt
(41)
. It is produced both at an artisanal and industrial
scale
(22,45)
. In several Balkan countries, boza may be consumed
on a daily basis
(47)
, mainly in winter time
(21)
. In Turkey, boza is
considered to be beers ancestor and is sometimes served with
cinnamon and roasted chickpeas
(41,45)
.
Boza is a viscous beverage with a form of colloid suspen-
sion
(21)
, with a slightly sour or sweet avour (depending on its
acid content)
(40,42,43,47)
,anacidicalcoholic odour and pale
yellow or from light to dark beige colour
(20,41)
. Its odour and
taste are affected by metabolites deriving via alcohol fermenta-
tion
(20)
.Bozas variations in composition and nutritive value are
the result, rst, of the utilisation of different types and amounts of
cereal products (raw materials) and, second, of spontaneous
fermentation conditions
(20)
. The selection of raw materials is very
important, as these affect the degree of fermentability, viscosity
and DM content
(20)
.Boza is a source of, protein, carbohydrate,
bre and vitamins, including thiamine, riboavin, pyridoxine and
niacin
(21,41)
.Bozas alcoholic content is either not detectable or up
to 1·5%(w/v)
(15,20,21,43)
.Turkishboza, in particular, has an
alcoholic content of 0·030·39 % (w/v)
(45)
or lower than 2 % by
volume in both the sour and sweet versions, according to the
Turkish Boza Standard, TS 9778
(41)
.
Bozas preparation involves six stages: preparation of raw
materials, boiling, cooling, straining, addition of sugar and
fermentation
(41)
. Another option for its production is the use of
previously fermented boza as inoculum. The types of fermenta-
tion observed are lactic acid fermentation by LAB and alcohol
fermentation by yeasts. Microbiota identication of boza shows
that it mainly consists of LAB (most of them lactobacilli, such as
Lactobacillus plantarum,Lb. acidophilus,Lb. fermentum,
Lb. coprophilus,Leuconostoc rafnolactis,Ln. mesenteroides and
Ln. brevis) and yeasts (such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae,
Candida tropicalis,C. glabrata,Geotrichum penicillatum and
G. candidum)
(19,40,42,43,46)
. Generally, LAB dominate; in the
Bulgarian boza especially, the average LAB:yeasts ratio amounts
to 2·4
(44)
.Boza is considered to be a rich source of probiotic
bacteria, such as Lb. plantarum,Lb. paracasei,Lb. rhamnosus
and Lb. pentosus
(20)
.Someofthesebacteriaareknowntoexhibit
pronounced auto-aggregation properties as well as antiviral and
antibacterial activity
(47)
.
Kvass.Kvass is a cereal-based beverage, used mostly as a type
of soft drink
(22,48,49)
(Table 2). Traditionally, it is produced from
rye and barley malt, rye our and stale rye bread
(48)
. Another
version of kvass,kvass southern, is made from water, rye bread,
sugar, yeast, juniper berries (Juniperus communis L.) and
raisins
(42,50)
. Mint kvass, a traditional Russian drink, is another
version, which is made from stale dark rye bread
(49)
, to which
water, sugar, dried yeast, fresh mint leaves and raisins or
sultanas are added
(49)
. The mint can be omitted or replaced by
honey or lemon peel. Kvass has normally a low alcoholic
content, 1 % or even less; if it exceeds this concentration, then is
considered spoiled
(22,48)
.Kvass is a very popular beverage in
the countries of the former Soviet Union, especially in
Russia
(15,22,48,49)
. In the past, it was also consumed in parts of
Eastern Poland
(41,47)
. In Estonia, kali, a beverage similar to
kvass, was produced in conjunction with beer, from the grain
surplus after the production of beer
(15)
.
Kvass is a sparkling, sweet or sour beverage with a rye bread
avour and golden-brown colour
(15,22,48,49)
, while mint kvass is
slightly carbonated
(49)
. Mint kvass is served chilled and it is
popular in Russia fast foodrestaurants
(49)
.Kvass contains
carbohydrates (mainly maltose, maltotriose, glucose and
fructose), proteins and amino acids, lactic and acetic acid,
ethanol, minerals and vitamins originating from the raw
materials or from the microbial metabolic activity
(48)
.
Two main kvass-making techniques exist, which use as raw
material either stale sourdough bread or malt
(48)
. In the rst
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Nutrition Research Reviews
Tab l e 2. Examples of traditional cereal-based low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented beverages consumed in European countries
Name Substrate Sensory property and nature Alcoholic content Other metabolites Nature of use
Boza
(millet ale)
(42,50)
Wheat or rice semolina or a
combination of rye, oat, barley,
and millet flour,
maize
(2022,4146)
Viscous liquid, colloid suspension, slightly
sour or sweet flavour, acidicalcoholic
odour, pale yellow or from light to dark
beige in colour
(20,21,41,43,44,46,50,168)
Non- or low alcoholic up to
1·5%
(20,21,43,168)
Lactic acid, ethanol, vitamins,
antimicobials
(22,41,45)
,
biogenic amines like
tyramine
(45)
Healthy and popular beverage for all ages, high nutritional
value
(20,21,4347)
, consumed mainly in the cold winter
nights
(21)
, on a daily basis (Balkan countries)
(47)
,is
regarded as the origin of beer
(41)
Kvass Rye and barley malt, rye flour
and stale rye (traditionally)
(48)
Sparkling, sweet or sour, rye bread
flavour
(22)
, golden-brown colour
(15,48,49)
Non- or low-alcoholic
1 % or less
(22,48)
Lactic acid, acetic acid,
ethanol, vitamins,
minerals
(48)
Popular beverage
(22,48)
Hulumur Sorghum, rice, millet
(9)
Mildly acidic
(9)
Drink
(9)
Kaera,kiesa or
kaerapiim
(15)
Oat seeds Sour liquor, drunk on the side of the meal
(15)
Kile
(15)
Oat flour mixed with water Sour taste
(15)
Filtered beverage, consumed instead of sour milk on the
side of the meal
(15)
Borș(Borsh) Rye or wheat bran
(15)
Sour taste
(15)
Light summer beverage
(15)
Taa r Rye and barley, rarely also
oats
(15)
Sour taste
(15)
, may be flavoured with juniper
fruits(galbula)
(15)
Drink
(15)
Kali Malted cereals
(15)
Similar to kvass
(15)
Nutrition data Microbiota of fermentation Functional properties
Country of consumption in
Europe Status of fermentation (homemade/industrialised)
Boza
(millet ale)
(42,50)
Protein, carbohydrate, lactic
acid, fibre and vitamins such
as thiamine, riboflavin,
pyridoxine and
nicotinamide
(21,41)
LAB, yeasts
(20,21,22,41,4347)
Strain ST284BZ is the
best probiotic
(47)
, rich source of
probiotic bacteria, probiotic
properties of Lactobacillus
plantarum,L. paracasei, etc.
(20)
Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania,
Romania, south Russia,
Former Yugoslavian
Republic of
Macedonia
(2,21,4147)
Homemade and industrialised
(22,45)
Kvass Carbohydrates (mainly maltose,
maltotriose, glucose and
fructose), proteins and amino
acids, vitamins
(48)
LAB and yeast
(22,48)
Countries of former Soviet
Union, especially
Russia
(15,22,42,48,49)
In the past in eastern
Poland
(15)
Industrialised
(15,22,48)
, homemade (very rare)
(15)
Hulumur LAB
(9)
Turkey
(9)
Homemade
Kaera,kiesa or
kaerapiim
(15)
Estonia
(15)
Homemade
Kile
(15)
Estonia
(15)
Homemade
Borș(Borsh) Hungary and Hungarians
living in other surrounding
countries (for example,
Romania)
(15)
Homemade
Taa r Estonia
(15)
Homemade
Kali Estonia
(15)
Homemade
LAB, lactic acid bacteria.
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technique, the sugars needed for the yeast fermentation derive
from the bread, while in the second, rye malt and rye our
(boiled with excess water) are the raw materials and gelatinised
starch is cleaved by malt enzymes. In case the rye bread is not
stale, it should be placed in the oven in order to be dried
slowly
(42,48)
. Before the addition of starter and sugar, the kvass
batter is diluted in boiling water and claried by sedimentation.
Kvass southern preparation methods are baking and boiling
(42)
.
The main stages of the preparation method of mint kvass are:
preparation of raw materials, drying in an oven, boiling, cooling
and straining, sugar addition and fermentation
(49)
. When made
at home, a sourdough stock culture is used as a starter/
inoculum for the fermentation. Kvass is produced on an
industrialised scale, using starters and the nal product is often
pasteurised and supplemented with preservatives
(15,22,48)
.Kvass
is very rich in microbiota consisting of viable yeasts and LAB
(48)
.
Its microbiota of fermentation consists of LAB (Lb. casei,Ln.
mesenteroides) and yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), but the
composition on a species level is variable, due to differences in
fermentation techniques and feedstock
(22,48)
.
Traditional fermented non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic
fruit-based beverages
Hardaliye.Hardaliye is a fruit-based NAFB (Table 3). It is made
from red grape juice and crushed black mustard seeds, even
though other ingredients, such as pomace and sour cherry
leaves, can also be used
(51,52)
. Sometimes benzoic acid is added
as a preservative (at the industrial scale)
(21,53)
.Hardaliye
originates from Thrace, in the European part of Turkey, where it
is widely consumed
(52,53)
. Its colour varies depending on the
grape varieties used and the production methods
(54)
. It has an
acidic taste
(51,52)
.
Hardaliye is mostly homemade following the traditional
method
(20)
. The ingredients are pressed and left to ferment for
510 d at room temperature
(21,22)
. The microbial population of
hardaliye has been reported to be mainly composed of lacto-
bacilli and unknown fungal species
(22)
. Bacterial species which
have been identied in naturally fermented hardaliye samples
include: Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei,Lb. casei subsp.
pseudoplantarum,Lb. brevis,Lb. pontis,Lb. acetotoleran,
Lb. sanfransisco and Lb. vaccinostercus
(53)
.
Gilaburu juice.Gilaburu juice is a traditional NAFB
(55,56)
. The
basic ingredients for the fermentation are European cranberry
bush (Viburnum opulus L.) and water (Table 3). European
cranberry bush, known as gilaburu in Turkey, is a red-coloured
fruit with a special astringent taste, grown mainly around
Kayseri city in Turkey. Occasionally, sugar is added to avoid the
astringent taste. Gilaburu juice is rich in acetic acid
(55)
.It
originates from the Kayseri province, in the central Anatolia of
Turkey
(55,56)
.
For the preparation of the beverage, the fruits are left in water
in a dark place and at room temperature for about 34 months
to ferment
(55,57)
. Several LAB species have been identied,
including mainly lactobacilli, in the fermenting microbiota,
such as Lb. plantarum,Lb. casei,Lb. brevis,Lb. hordei,
Lb. paraplantarum,Lb. coryniformis,Lb. buchneri,Lb.
parabuchneri,Lb. pantheris and Lb. harbinensis, along with
but also Leuconostoc, for example, Ln. mesenteroides,Ln.
pseudomesenteroides
(56)
.
Traditional fermented non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic
vegetable-based beverages
Sauerkraut juice. Sauerkraut juice or Kraut juice is the juice
produced from white cabbage fermentation
(58)
(Table 4).
Sauerkraut juice is made from cabbage and salt, same as
Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) is
(42)
. Fermented cabbage
juice is widely consumed in Germany (Sauerkrautsaft),
Ukraine, Romania (moare), Serbia (rasol) and other regions in
the Black Sea
(42,50)
. According to the common method of
production, the cabbage is fermented and then the juice is
pressed out. Typically, the nal product contains a lot of salt. It
has been shown that sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice could be
prepared with a very low Na concentration as well as, with a
low total mineral salt content. The sauerkraut juice, which is
fermented with 0·5 % mineral salt is considered to have the best
taste
(59)
. The natural fermenting microbiota includes mainly
LAB, such as Ln. mesenteroides,Lb. brevis,Lb. sakei and Lb.
plantarum
(35,58,59)
.
Şalgam juice.Salgam (also spelled Shalgam or Şalgam) juice
is a NAFB (Table 4). It is made from black or purple carrots
(Daucus carota), turnips (Brassica rapa), bulgur (broken
wheat) our, sourdough, salt and water
(60)
. In India, a similar
product, kanji, is produced via the natural fermentation of
carrots and the addition of salt, chilies and crushed mustard.
Both products owe their colour to the anthocyanins present in
the black carrot
(21)
.Salgam comes originally from the Cukurova
province of Turkey but nowadays is consumed throughout the
country
(61)
, especially in Adana, Hatay and Icel (the Medi-
terranean region of Turkey). Recently, it has become popular in
urban centres, such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, as well
(62)
.
Salgam juice is typically produced on a home-scale; however,
small quantities are being commercially produced
(61)
.
Salgam juice is red-coloured, cloudy and has a sour taste. It is
rich in minerals (Ca, K and Fe), vitamins (A, C and B group
vitamins), and has polyphenols content
(61,63,64)
. Typically,
salgam juice accompanies meals
(21)
. The indigenous microbiota
of naturally fermented salgam juice is mainly composed of LAB,
with the predominant species being Lb. plantarum,Lb. brevis
and Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei
(62,65)
. Yeasts, such as
S. cerevisie, have been reported to contribute to the fermenta-
tion process
(64)
.
Traditional fermented non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic herb,
spice and aromatic plant-based beverages
Kombucha.Kombucha is one of the most popular LAFB in the
world (Table 5). Black tea and white sugar are used for its
production although green tea can also be used
(66)
. The drink
was originally popular in China, but nowadays is consumed
worldwide, showing an increasing popularity as a traditional
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Nutrition Research Reviews
Tab l e 3. Examples of traditional fruit-based low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented beverages consumed in European countries
Name Substrate
Sensory property
and nature
Alcoholic
content
Other
metabolites Nature of use Nutrition data
Microbiota of
fermentation
Functional
properties
Country of consumption
in Europe
Status of fermentation
(homemade/
industrialised)
Hardaliye Red grape juice and
pomace
(21,5153)
The original colour of
the grapes,
acidic
(51,52,54)
Non-alcoholic,
0·28
0·59 %
(21)
Traditional non-dair y probiotic
beverage, antioxidant
properties
(53)
Antioxidants
(53)
LAB, uncharacterised
fungal component
(53)
Origin: Thrace in the
Marmara region of
Tur k e y
Consumed: Thrace
region of Turkey
(52,53)
Homemade, small-scale
local technologies
(53)
Gilaburu juice Cranberry bush
(Viburnum opulus L.)
(55)
Astringent without
the addition of
sugar
Non-alcoholic
(55)
Acetic acid
(55)
Traditional, may be a health-
promoting beverage
(55)
LAB Possible
probiotic
potential
Regions in Central
Anatolia of Turkey,
Kayseri
(169)
Homemade
Juniper beer (called
psiwo kozicowe or
piwo jałowcowe in
Poland)
(170)
Juniper berries (Juniperus
communis L.,
Cupressaceae
(15)
Sweet and sour
taste
(170)
Low
(170)
Traditionally ser ved at
weddings
(170)
, baptisms and
funeral parties
(171)
,nowadays
sold at folklore events, village
fêtes, culinary festivals
(170)
Northern Poland
Similar drinks:
countries in the Baltic
Sea (for example,
Estonia, Finland,
Sweden)
(15,170)
Homemade, not mass
produced, sold upon
request
(170)
Wild apple and
cherry vinegars
Fruits of wild apple (Malus
sylvestris) and
Cornelian cherry trees
(Cornus mas)
(15)
Health properties
(15)
, drunk as a
preventive beverage
(15)
, anti-
obesity product and externally
against bruises, fever and
headache
(172,173)
Istro-Romanians in
Croatia
(172)
, South
Kosovo, north east
Albania, Hungary
(15)
Homemade
(15)
Beverage from fruit
pickles
Wild apples, pears, plums,
blackberries (Rubus
caesius), raspberries
(Rubus idaeus),
lingonberries
(Vacciniumvitis idaea),
medlars (Mespilus
germanica)
(15)
Acidic taste
(15)
Valuable
source of
vitamins
during the
winter
months
(15)
Devin area (South
Bulgaria, Rhodopes
Mountains)
(15)
Homemade
Fermented fruit and
roots
Fruits or roots from wild
Cornelian cherries,
gentian roots (Gentiana
lutea), sloe (Prunus
spinose), wild apples,
juniper berries
(Juniperus communis),
cultivated apples,
plums, damsons,
cherry-plums (Prunus
cerasifera)
(173)
Carbonated, sour,
sweet
(173)
Low- or non-
alcoholic
(173)
Perceived healthbenefits (such
as influenza remedy, diarrhoea
remedy, hypertension remedy),
good for the heart, nutritious,
potable, culturally appropriate
(Islamic faith)
(173)
LAB
(174)
Slavic Gorani minority
living in north east
Albania and South
Kosovo
(173)
Homemade
LAB, lactic acid bacteria.
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soft drink
(22,67,68)
.Kombucha has a slightly sweet, carbonated,
acidic taste resembling sparkling apple cider
(67,69,70)
. Tradi-
tionally, it was a homemade drink and the preservation and
supply of the symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast was
included in the process
(69)
, but nowadays it is also commer-
cially available
(67)
.
For the preparation, tea leaves are added to boiling water and
left to infuse for 10 min. A small amount of sugar is then
added in the hot tea and the preparation is left to cool. Tea
fungus is added to the mixture, which is left to ferment for
18 weeks. After the end of the fermentation, the tea fungus is
removed from the surface and kept in a small volume of
fermented tea for future use
(69)
. Regarding the metabolites of
the fermentation, the nal product contains mainly acetic
acid
(67,71)
but also gluconic and glucuronic acids, ethanol and
glycerol
(68,72)
.
The microbiota of kombuchas fermentation has been
examined by many research groups, which concluded that both
LAB and yeasts are present during the fermentation
(70)
, while
some have reported that acetic acid bacteria also take part in the
fermentation process
(22,71)
. Recently, different kombucha sam-
ples were analysed using high-throughput sequencing and ve
bacterial phyla were revealed: Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes,
Deinococcus-Thermus, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The
most abundant were Proteobacteria and the dominant genus
was Gluconacetobacter, while Acetobacter was traced in lower
populations. The Firmicutes were represented mostly by the
Lactobacillus genus and Lactococcus was found mainly in
kombucha pellicles. The genera Leuconostoc,Enterococcus and
Allobaculum were detected for the rst time in kombucha
samples. Actinobacteria were not found in all samples but
Propionibacterium and Bidobacterium strains were detected
in early stages of kombucha fermentation, for the rst time.
Culture-dependent techniques do not permit the detection of
micro-organisms living in extreme thermophilic conditions
like Thermus spp. (Deinococcus-Thermus), which was detected
in the same study. Regarding yeasts, Zygosaccharomyces
was the dominant genus but also Pichia,Dekkera and
Kazachstaniagenera were found in tea
(73)
.
Ginger beer. Ginger beer, also known as ginger ale, is a
LAFB
(74,75)
(Table 5). There are many different recipes for the
production of ginger beer; however, the basic ingredients
used are ginger, lemon, sugar and yeast
(74)
. Other ingredients