Occurrence and function of yeasts in Asian indigenous fermented foods.
In the Asian region, indigenous fermented foods are important in daily life. In many of these foods, yeasts are predominant and functional during the fermentation. The diversity of foods in which yeasts predominate ranges from leavened bread-like products such as nan and idli, to alcoholic beverages such as rice and palm wines, and condiments such as papads and soy sauce. Although several products are obtained by natural fermentation, the use of traditional starter cultures is widespread. This minireview focuses on the diversity and functionality of yeasts in these products, and on opportunities for research and development.