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J Biosci Bioeng. 2017 Aug;124(2):178-183. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiosc.2017.03.011. Epub 2017 May 10.

Metabolite profile of koji amazake and its lactic acid fermentation product by Lactobacillus sakei UONUMA.

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Hakkaisan Brewery Co., Ltd., 1051 Nagamori, Minamiuonuma, Niigata 949-7112, Japan.
Food Research Center, Niigata Agricultural Research Institute, 2-25 Shin-eicho, Kamo, Niigata 959-1381, Japan.
Hakkaisan Brewery Co., Ltd., 1051 Nagamori, Minamiuonuma, Niigata 949-7112, Japan. Electronic address:


The koji amazake is a traditional sweet Japanese beverage. It has been consumed for over a thousand years in Japan; nonetheless, little is yet known of the ingredients in koji amazake. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the metabolites of koji amazake using a metabolomics approach. Additionally, we reformed the flavor of koji amazake by lactic acid fermentation (LAF-amazake) using Lactobacillus sakei UONUMA, which was isolated from snow caverns. The purpose of this article is to identify the ingredients in these beverages. In LAF-amazake and koji amazake, sugars, amino acids, organic acids, and vitamin B complex were determined in the two beverages, and over 300 compounds were detected in total. Thirteen saccharides were identified including two unknown trisaccharides, and there were no differences in these between the two beverages. In LAF-amazake, lactic acid, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (nicotinic acid and nicotinamide), and B6 (pyridoxine) were significantly increased as compared to koji amazake, whereas malate and glutamine decreased. These results suggested that LAF, malolactic fermentation, and glutamine deamidation occurred simultaneously in LAF-amazake. L. sakei UONUMA strains produced these vitamins. Moreover, it was surprising that acetylcholine, a well-known neurotransmitter, was newly generated in LAF-amazake. Here, we have succeeded in reforming the flavor of koji amazake and obtained these metabolic data on the two beverages. The present study could provide useful basic information for promoting functional analyses of koji amazake and LAF-amazake for human health.


Amazake; Koji; Lactic acid fermentation; Lactobacillus sakei; Metabolomics

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