3 Biotech

, 9:174 | Cite as

Exploring the microbiota and metabolites of traditional rice beer varieties of Assam and their functionalities

  • Santanu Das
  • Dibyayan Deb
  • Atanu Adak
  • Mojibur R. KhanEmail author
Original Article


Rice beer is traditionally prepared and consumed by various ethnic populations in the Southeast Asian countries. To understand the probable effects of rice beer on human health, present research was aimed to study biochemical parameters, microbial diversity and metabolites of major rice beer varieties of Assam, namely Apong (Poro and Nogin), Xaaj and Joubishi. Alcoholic content of rice beer varieties varied from 9.41 to 19.33% (v/v). Free radical scavenging activity against DPPH· and ABTS+ were 1.94–4.14 and 1.69–3.91 mg of ascorbic acid/ml of rice beer, respectively. In relation to antioxidant activities, phenolic content varied from 2.07 to 5.40 mg gallic acid/ml of rice beer. Next-generation sequencing of 16S rDNA showed that 18 genera of bacteria were present irrespective of rice beer varieties in which lactic acid bacteria were the dominant group (90% abundance). Functional predictions based on the bacterial profiles indicated pathways, such as metabolisms of carbohydrate, amino acid, vitamins and cofactors, and xenobiotic biodegradation, to be active in the rice beer varieties. Out of 18 core bacterial genera, 7 had correlations with the predicted functions. Gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy-based metabolite analysis revealed that the metabolite profiles of the rice beer varieties consisted of 18 saccharides, 18 organic acids, 11 sugar alcohols, 8 amino acids, 1 vitamin and nutraceutical compounds thiocoumarine, carotene, oxazolidine-2-one and acetyl tyrosine. Due to the presence of potent prebiotics, probiotics and nutraceuticals, rice beer may have health benefits which need to be studied further.


Biochemical properties Metabolites Microbial diversity Nutraceuticals 



We thank the Institutional level Biotech Hub (DBT, Govt. of India) and Central instrumentation facility of IASST for providing the facilities. This research was funded by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Unit of Excellence Project (BT/550/NE/U-Excel/2014). The authors would like to thank Mr. Anupam Bhattacharya, Research Associate, BIF centre IASST for assistance in computational analysis. The authors are also thankful to volunteers for providing samples.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

13205_2019_1702_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 22 kb)


  1. Adak A, Maity C, Ghosh K, Halder SK, Mohapatra PKD, Mondal KC (2013) Potentialities of newly isolated Bacillus subtilis and Lactobacillus sp. for curd preparation and a comparative study of its physico-chemical parameters with other marketed curds. Indian J Exp Biol 51:910–918PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Aidoo KE, Nout MJ, Sarkar PK (2006) Occurrence and function of yeasts in Asian indigenous fermented foods. FEMS Yeast Res 6:30–39. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Amara AA, Shibl A (2015) Role of probiotics in health improvement, infection control and disease treatment and management. Saudi Pharm J 23:107–114. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhuyan DJ, Barooah MS, Bora SS, Singaravadivel K (2014) Biochemical and nutritional analysis of rice beer of North East India. Indian J Tradit Knowl 13:142–148Google Scholar
  5. Cai H, Zhang T, Zhang Q, Luo J, Cai C, Mao J (2018) Microbial diversity and chemical analysis of the starters used in traditional Chinese sweet rice wine. Food Microbiol 73:319–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Callahan BJ, McMurdie PJ, Rosen MJ, Han AW, Johnson AJ, Holmes SP (2016) DADA2: high-resolution sample inference from Illumina amplicon data. Nat Methods 13:581–583. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Caporaso JG, Kuczynski J, Stombaugh J, Bittinger K, Bushman FD, Costello EK, Fierer N, Peña AG, Goodrich JK, Gordon JI, Huttley GA, Kelley ST, Knights D, Koenig JE, Ley RE, Lozupone CA, McDonald D, Muegge BD, Pirrung M, Reeder J, Sevinsky JR, Turnbaugh PJ, Walters WA, Widmann J, Yatsunenko T, Zaneveld J, Knight R (2010) QIIME allows analysis of high-throughput community sequencing data. Nat Methods 7(5):335–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Caputi A, Ueda M, Brown T (1968) Spectrophotometric determination of ethanol in wine. Am J Enol Vitic 19:160–165Google Scholar
  9. Chen RH, Chen WX, Chen HM, Zhang GF, Chen WJ (2018) Comparative evaluation of the antioxidant capacities, organic acids, and volatiles of papaya juices fermented by Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum. J Food Qual. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chong J, Xia J (2018) MetaboAnalystR: an R package for flexible and reproducible analysis of metabolomics data. Bioinformatics 27:4313–4314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dahiya DK, Puniya M, Shandilya UK et al (2017) Gut microbiota modulation and its relationship with obesity using prebiotic fibers and probiotics: a review. Front Microbiol 8:563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dangi AK, Dubey KK, Shukla P (2017) Strategies to improve Saccharomyces cerevisiae: technological advancements and evolutionary engineering. Indian J Microbiol 57:378–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Das A, Deka S, Miyaji T (2012) Methodology of rice beer preparation and various plant materials used in starter culture preparation by some tribal communities of North-East India: a survey. Int Food Res J 19:101Google Scholar
  14. Das AJ, Khawas P, Miyaji T, Deka SC (2014) HPLC and GC-MS analyses of organic acids, carbohydrates, amino acids and volatile aromatic compounds in some varieties of rice beer from northeast India. J Inst Brew 120:244–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Das G, Patra JK, Singdevsachan SK, Gouda S, Shin H-S (2016) Diversity of traditional and fermented foods of the seven sister states of India and their nutritional and nutraceutical potential: a review. Front Life Sci 9:292–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davidson PM, Taylor TM, Schmidt SE (2013) Chemical preservatives and natural antimicrobial compounds. In: Doyle MP, Buchanan RL (eds) Food microbiology. American Society of Microbiology, Washington, DC, pp 765–801Google Scholar
  17. Deka AK, Handique P, Deka DC (2018) Antioxidant-activity and physicochemical indices of the rice beer used by the Bodo community in North-East India. J Am Soc Brew Chem 76:112–116Google Scholar
  18. Doran-Peterson J, Cook DM, Brandon SK (2008) Microbial conversion of sugars from plant biomass to lactic acid or ethanol. Plant J 54(4):582–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ghosh K, Maity C, Adak A et al (2014) Ethnic preparation of haria, a rice-based fermented beverage, in the province of lateritic West Bengal, India. Ethnobot Res Appl 12:039–049Google Scholar
  20. Ghosh K, Ray M, Adak A et al (2015) Microbial, saccharifying and antioxidant properties of an Indian rice based fermented beverage. Food Chem 168:196–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ghosh S, Rahaman L, Kaipeng DL, Deb D, Nath N, Tribedi P, Sharma BK (2016) Community-wise evaluation of rice beer prepared by some ethnic tribes of Tripura. J Ethn Foods 3:251–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gibson GR et al (2017) Expert consensus document: the international scientific association for probiotics and prebiotics (ISAPP) consensus statement on the definition and scope of prebiotics. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 14:491–502. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Harrell FE Jr, Harrell MFE Jr (2018) Package ‘Hmisc’ R foundation for statistical computing.
  24. Hostettmann K, Borloz A, Urbain A, Marston A (2006) Natural product inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase. Curr Org Chem 10:825–847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Huang ZR, Guo WL, Zhou WB et al (2018) Microbial communities and volatile metabolites in different traditional fermentation starters used for Hong Qu glutinous rice wine. Food Res Int. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Kanehisa M, Goto S, Furumichi M et al (2010) KEGG for representation and analysis of molecular networks involving diseases and drugs. Nucleic Acids Res 38:D355–D360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Karnovsky A et al (2011) Metscape 2 bioinformatics tool for the analysis and visualization of metabolomics and gene expression data. Bioinformatics 28:373–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Katoh K, Standley DM (2013) MAFFT multiple sequence alignment software version 7: improvements in performance and usability. Mol Biol Evol 30:772–780. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Khan MR, Bhaskar B, Adak A, Talukdar NC (2017) Rice based beverage with high alcohol content and method therefor (Application No. 201731006470, Publication Date: 17/03/2017)Google Scholar
  30. Langille MGI et al (2013) Predictive functional profiling of microbial communities using 16S rRNA marker gene sequences. Nat Biotechnol 31:814. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. Langstaff SA, Lewis MJ (1993) The mouthfeel of beer—a review. J Inst Brewing 99:31–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mäkinen KK (2016) Gastrointestinal disturbances associated with the consumption of sugar alcohols with special consideration of Xylitol: scientific review and instructions for dentists and other health-care professionals. Int J Dent Res 2016:1–16Google Scholar
  33. Price MN, Dehal PS, Arkin AP (2010) FastTree 2—approximately maximum-likelihood trees for large alignments. PLoS One 5:e9490. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. Quast C et al (2013) The SILVA ribosomal RNA gene database project: improved data processing and web-based tools. Nucleic Acids Res 41:D590–D596. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Ray M, Ghosh K, Singh S, Mondal KC (2016) Folk to functional: an explorative overview of rice-based fermented foods and beverages in India. J Ethn Foods 3:5–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rognes T, Flouri T, Nichols B et al (2016) VSEARCH: a versatile open source tool for metagenomics. PeerJ 4:e2584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Romi W, Ahmed G, Jeyaram K (2015) Three-phase succession of autochthonous lactic acid bacteria to reach a stable ecosystem within 7 days of natural bamboo shoot fermentation as revealed by different molecular approaches. Mol Ecol 24:3372–3389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sha SP, Jani K, Sharma A et al (2017) Analysis of bacterial and fungal communities in Marcha and Thiat, traditionally prepared amylolytic starters of India. Sci Rep 7:10967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shannon P et al (2003) Cytoscape: a software environment for integrated models of biomolecular interaction networks. Genome Res 13:2498–2504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Shewry PR, Hey SJ (2015) The contribution of wheat to human diet and health. Food Energy Secur 4:178–202. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  41. Shukla S, Shukla A, Mehboob S et al (2011) Meta-analysis: the effects of gut flora modulation using prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics on minimal hepatic encephalopathy. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 33:662–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Singleton VL, Orthofer R, Lamuela-Raventós RM (1999) Analysis of total phenols and other oxidation substrates and antioxidants by means of Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. In: Packer L (ed) Methods in enzymology, vol 299. Academic Press, Cambridge, pp 152–178. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sokrab AM, Mohamed Ahmed IA, Babiker EE (2014) Effect of fermentation on antinutrients, and total and extractable minerals of high and low phytate corn genotypes. J Food Sci Technol 51:2608–2615. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Steinkraus KH (1983) Effect of pre and post fermentation treatments on quality of red wine preparation from punjab purple grapes. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 49:12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tanaka S, Yamamoto K, Yamada K et al (2016) Relationship of enhanced butyrate production by colonic butyrate-producing bacteria to immunomodulatory effects in normal mice fed an insoluble fraction of Brassica rapa L. Appl Environ Microbiol 82:2693–2699. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  46. Vandenbergh PA (1993) Lactic acid bacteria, their metabolic products and interference with microbial growth. FEMS Microbiol Rev 12:221–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Warnes GR et al (2009) gplots: Various R programming tools for plotting data R package version 2:1Google Scholar
  48. Wei T, Simko V, Levy M et al (2017) Package ‘corrplot’. Statistician 56:316–324Google Scholar
  49. Wickham H (2016) ggplot2: elegant graphics for data analysis. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  50. Wookey A, Turner PJ, Greenhalgh JM, Eastwood M, Clarke J, Sefton C (2004) AZD2563, a novel oxazolidinone: definition of antibacterial spectrum, assessment of bactericidal potential and the impact of miscellaneous factors on activity in vitro. Clin Microbiol Infect 10:247–254. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Yadav R, Shukla P (2017) Probiotics for human health: current progress and applications. In: Shukla P (ed) Recent advances in applied microbiology. Springer, Singapore, pp 133–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yadav R, Puniya AK, Shukla P (2016) Probiotic properties of Lactobacillus plantarum RYPR1 from an indigenous fermented beverage Raabadi. Front Microbiol 7:1683PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  53. Yamazaki A, Li J, Hutchins WC et al (2011) Commensal effect of pectate lyases secreted from Dickeya dadantii on proliferation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 EDL933 on lettuce leaves. Appl Environ Microbiol 77:156–162. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Zapata PJ, Martínez-Esplá A, Gironés-Vilaplana A et al (2019) Phenolic, volatile, and sensory profiles of beer enriched by macerating quince fruits. LWT 103:139–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zou W, Zhao C, Luo H (2018) Diversity and function of microbial community in Chinese strong-flavor Baijiu ecosystem: a Review. Front Microbiol 9:671CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Santanu Das
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dibyayan Deb
    • 1
    • 2
  • Atanu Adak
    • 1
  • Mojibur R. Khan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Molecular Biology and Microbial Biotechnology Laboratory, Division of Life SciencesInstitute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST)GuwahatiIndia
  2. 2.Life Sciences Division, Department of Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyCotton UniversityGuwahatiIndia

Personalised recommendations