Friday, April 18, 2008


We are in the twenty first century where biotechnology run supreme and we have big or mega fermentation industries. Yet despite the scientific understanding and the fermentation technology at our disposal, a significant number of us still believes in the taboos and myths associated with the fermentation process. Breaking or going against the taboo or making the 'spirits' angry will not lead to a successful fermentation process.

In this blog we will discuss some of the common taboos and the rationality why some of the taboos really got a rational scientific explanation behind it

One of the most popular beliefs in this country is in tapai making. It is believed that:
1 Women who are in their menstruation should not prepare the fermented food
2 The fermentation food preparers must not be in an angry mood

There have been many cases when this taboo is broken it will result in the poor fermentation of the tapai.

If one rationalize the situation, there might be some truth of these superstitions or taboo from a scientific angle

When women are in menstruation, they are undergoing strong hormonal changes which affect their metabolism and state of health. It is most possible that these ladies may have changes in their body ph or acidity which allows either different contaminants to proliferate on their normal human flora. This additional flora will be 'accidentally' introduced into the fermenting process.

It is also possible that during the mixing of the substrate by the ladies the ph of the substate will be changed when in contact with the ladies acidity thus allowing other type of yeasts to proliferate instead of the usual yeasts

As regard to the fact that ladies who are angry will make lousy tapai is because in their anger they lost the mood to be extra careful in preparing the tapai and the fermentation improperly carried out allowing ease of entry for the contaminants

No comments: