Ethnic Fermented Foods and Beverages of Sri Lanka



In Sri Lanka, fermented foods, though not many, have been used as meals or part of a meal from ancient times, and they are fitted into the meal pattern in a variety of ways. Sri Lanka being a land of multiethnic groups, the cuisine is influenced by the Portuguese, Dutch, Malays, Arabs, and the South Indians who have left their culinary characteristics. This chapter summarizes various aspects of fermented food products, some traditional products specific to the country which are not many, and also some fermented foods that are produced in Sri Lanka and consumed by all Sri Lankans. The products described are categorized into milk-based products, cereal- and legume-based products, vegetable products, fish- and meat-based products, and alcoholic beverages. The enhancement of nutritive value and health benefits obtained by consuming such products is not well documented and known by many people. Therefore, it is important to carry out further investigations regarding the nutritive value and health effects of various fermented foods available in Sri Lanka.


Lactic Acid Bacterium Fermented Food Fermented Milk Acetic Acid Bacterium Leuconostoc Mesenteroides 


  1. Battcock, M., & Azam-Ali, S. (1998). Fermented fruits and vegetables. A global perspective (FAO agricultural services bulletin no. 134). Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  2. Chrystopher, R. K. (1988). Palmyrah palm wine 1. Microbial and biochemical changes. Journal of the National Science Council of Sri Lanka, 16(1), 131–141.Google Scholar
  3. De Silva, K. L. S. R., & Rathnayaka, R. M. U. S. K. (2014). Physico-chemical sensory and microbiological evaluation of set and fruit yoghurt in Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka. Journal of Scientific Research & Reports, 3(2), 284–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dias Shavindra, R. (2010). Paraquat used as a catalyst to increase the percentage of alcohol distillated in illicit brewing industry of Sri Lanka. Journal of Brewing and Distilling, 1(2), 22–23. ISSN 2141-2197. Accessed 10 Aug 2015.Google Scholar
  5. Edirisuriya, C. (2003). The value of indigenous food. Accessed 10 Aug 2015.
  6. Fellows, P. J. (2000). Fermentation and enzyme technology. In Food processing technology (pp. 170–187). Cambridge: Wood Head Publishing Limited.Google Scholar
  7. Food act no 26 of 1980. (2007, June 27). The Gazette Notification of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No 1508/3.Google Scholar
  8. Food Processing Technologies. (1995). State-of-the-art report on selected rural technologies: Food processing technologies and handicrafts Sri Lanka. Compiled by natural resources energy & science authority. Sri Lanka Ministry of Science, Technology & Human Resources Development.Google Scholar
  9. Jayasinghe, P. S. (2002). Microbiological and chemical aspects of fish curing. M. Phil dissertation. University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda. Sri Lanka.Google Scholar
  10. Jayasinghe, P. S., Bamunuarachchi, A., & Fonseka, T. S. G. (2000). Survey on the quality of Jaadi available in Sri Lankan market. Journal of National Aquatic Resource Research Development Agency, 36, 26–34.Google Scholar
  11. Jayasinghe, P. S., Ekanayake, S., & Galappaththi, C. (2003). Evaluation of quality and shelf life of jaadi from Indian mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta). Chemistry in Sri Lanka, 20, 15–16.Google Scholar
  12. Jayatissa, P. A., Pathirana, R. A., Sivayogasunderum, K., & Jeyaraj, E. E. (1978). Yeasts of the coconut palm wine of Sri Lanka. Journal of Science Food and Agriculture, 29, 975–978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Karovicova, J., & Kohajdova, Z. (2005). Lactic acid fermented vegetable juices- palatable and wholesome food. Chemical Papers, 59(2), 143–148.Google Scholar
  14. Lakshmi, W. G. I., Prassanna, P. H. P., & Edirisinghe, U. (2010). Production of Jaadi using Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and determination of its physico-chemical and sensory properties. Sabaragamuwa University Journal, 9(1), 57–63.Google Scholar
  15. Liyanage, A. W., Hettiarachchi, M. R., & Jayatissa, P. M. (1981). Yeasts of coconut and palmyrah palm, wines of Sri Lanka. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 18, 256–257.Google Scholar
  16. Mahinda, I. C. T. D. (2005). Studies on fermentation of capsicum. M Sc dissertation. University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya.Google Scholar
  17. Mohamed, S. (2013). Toxigenic fungi and mycotoxin production in Maldive fish (smoked dried tuna fish). Ph D thesis (Food Technology) Massey University of Palmerston North, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  18. Number and percentage of population by District and Ethnic Group; Census of Population and Housing. (2001). Department of Census and Statistics Sri Lanka. Accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  19. Pathirana, K. K., Kodikara, C. P., Dassanayake, D. K. M. P., & Widanapathirana, S. (1992). A field survey and microbiological studies on Ruhunu curd. Proceedings of SAREC/NARESA Regional Symposium on the Role of the Buffalo in Rural Development on Asia. 1995, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (pp. 111–128). Accessed May 2016.
  20. Rasika, D. M. D., Ueda, T., Jayakody, L. N., Suriyagoda, L. D. B., Silva, K. F. S. T., Ando, S., & Vidanarachchi, J. K. (2015). ACE-inhibitory activity of milk fermented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae K7 and Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis NBRC 12007. Journal of National Science Foundation Sri Lanka, 43(2), 141–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Samarajeewa, U. (1986). Industries based on alcoholic fermentation in Sri Lanka (Science education series no 16). Published by Natural Resources, Energy and Science Authority, Sri Lanka.Google Scholar
  22. Samarajeewa, U., Mathes, D. T., Wijeratne, M. C. P., & Warnakula, T. (1985). Effect of sodium metabisulphite on ethanol production in coconut inflorescence sap. Food Microbiology, 2, 11–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sottero, B., Gamba, P., Gargiulo, S., Leonarduzzi, G., & Poli, G. (2009). Cholesterol oxidation products and disease: An emerging topic of interest in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 16(6), 685–705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Statistical Abstract. (2014). Accessed 1 Nov 2015.
  25. Statistical Pocket Book (2015). Publication Division of the Department of the Census and Statistics. Accessed 1 Nov 2015.
  26. Subasinghe, S. (1993). Fermented fishery products in Sri Lanka. In C. H. Lee, K. H. Steinkraus, P. J. A. Reilly (Eds.), Fish fermentation technology (pp. 167–175). Tokyo: United Nations University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Theivendirarajah, K., Dassanayake, M. D., & Jeyaseelan, K. (1977). Studies on the fermentation of Kitul (Caryota urens) Sap. Ceylon Journal of Science (Biological Science), 12(2), 147–150.Google Scholar
  28. Ubhayasekera, S. J. K. A., Jayasinghe, P. Ekanayake, S., & Dutta, P. C. (2005, November 17–18). Changes in fatty acid composition and cholesterol content of Jaadi made from Indian mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta) during curing. Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Fermented Foods, Health Status and Social Well-being, Anand, India. pp. 16–18.Google Scholar
  29. Ubhayasekera, S. J. K. A., Jayasinghe, P., Ekanayake, S., & Dutta, P. C. (2012). High cholesterol oxidation in pickled mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta) from Sri Lanka. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 114(6), 695–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vidanapathirana, S., Atputharaja, J. D., & Samarajeewa, U. (1983). Microbiology of Coconut sap fermentation. Vidyodaya Journal Arts, Science Letters, 11(1 & 2), 35–39.Google Scholar
  31. Weerasinghe, T. J. (1991). Jaadi. Journal of National Aquatic Resource Research Development Agency, 15, 3–8.Google Scholar
  32. Wikramanayake, T. W. (1996). Food and nutrition. Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute, Sri Lanka.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medical SciencesUniversity of Sri JayewardenepuraNugegodaSri Lanka

Personalised recommendations