Kanji - An ethnic north-Indian fermented beverage

Since early history, traditional fermented foods have been popularly consumed. Kanjika or Kanji is a well-known ayurvedic lactic acid based fermented drink. Sandhana Kalpana is the term used in Ayurveda for the process of fermentation [1]. Fermentation is one of the oldest and economical method to preserve food. Apart from prevention of spoilage  or from preventing food spoilage, it also adds benefits such as enhances flavour, improves digestibility, improves nutritional benefits of foods and increase pharmacological value of the food [2].

Kanji is prepared from black carrots (Daucus carota), salt, crushed mustard seeds, red chilli or cayenne pepper powder and water.

Fermentation takes place by microorganisms and enzymes which convert food sugars into lactic acid. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) play an essential role in the preservation and production of wholesome fermented foods [3]. Seventeen lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains have been reported in Kanji for probiotic properties and showed acid tolerance, bile salt tolerance with anti-microbial activity and cholesterol assimilation. Isolates of  Lactobacillus coryniformis and Lactobacillus curvatus showed significant inhibition against Listeria monocytogenes and Yersinia enterocolitica [1]. Lactobacillus delbrueckii and Lactobacillus strains mentioned above have been reported for probiotic potential. Lactobacillus plantarum isolated from ayurvedic medicinal food Kanji or Kanjika is a potential source of Vitamin B12 [4].

 

Nutritional benefits of Kanjika or Kanji [1,2,4]

  • Improves digestion.
  • Act as appetizer.
  • Protects liver from oxidative stress.
  • Improves the secretion of enzymes.
  • Good source of vitamin B12.
  • Good probiotic thus protects from pathogenic gut bacteria.
  • Helps in cholesterol assimilation.
  • Maintains the population of good bacteria in gut.
  • High antioxidant activity thus helps building good immune strength.
  • Good anti-inflammatory effect.

Time to enjoy the traditional drinks with health benefits instead of expensive ones in the market.

 

Choose traditional over modern!

 

References:

  1. Reddy KBPK, Raghavendra P, Kumar BG, et al. (2007) Screening of probiotic properties of lactic acid bacteria isolated from Kanjika, an ayruvedic lactic acid fermented product: An in-vitro evaluation. The Journal of General and Applied Microbiology 53: 207-213.
  2. Lamba J, Goomer S, Saxena SK (2019) Study the lactic acid bacteria content in traditional fermented Indian drink: Kanji. International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science 16: 100143.
  3. Panghal A, Janghu S, Virkar K, et al. (2018) Potential non-dairy probiotic products – A healthy approach. Food Bioscience 21: 80-89.
  4. Madhu AN, Giribhattanavar P, Narayan MS, et al. (2010) Probiotic lactic acid bacterium from kanjika as a potential source of vitamin B12: evidence from LC-MS, immunological and microbiological techniques. Biotechnology Letters 32: 503-506.
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