Acrid Taro for Making Wine

Article excerpt

The purple taro variety VG9 bred by the Philippine Root Crop Research Center (PhilRootcrops) at Visayas State University (VSU) in Leyte, despite its acrid tubers, can make an excellent ingredient that will enhance the functional characteristics of dessert red wine.

The red wine was developed by a team of PhilRootcrops researchers led by Dr. Julie Tan from a mixture of purple taro VG9 and black glutinous rice Arabon, a local rice variety.The research was funded by the Philippine Council for Energy, Emerging Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCIEERD-DOST).

According to Tan, taro or gabi can enhance the functional characteristic of red wine as it is one of the best known prebiotic rootcrops among all rootcrops.

Tan reported that taro has nondigestible polysaccharides such as pentosans and dietary fiber. She confirmed that these properties have qualified taro to be a potential substrate for beneficial microorganisms in human intestines in addition to its nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals.

During the process, grated taro and black rice are cooked together then inoculated with ragi tape from Indonesia. The fermentation process yielded an average of 450 ml wine per kilo of taro-rice mixture.

Of more significance, Tan said, is the promotion of red wine as a health drink that fits very well with the increasing health consciousness of Filipinos and consumers all around the world.

In the case of red wine made from purple taro and black rice, the health drink image can be the foremost selling point, according to Tan. …