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Review

Traditional Fermented Beverages of Mexico: A Biocultural Unseen Foodscape

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Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro 8701, Col. San José de la Huerta, Morelia 58190, Mexico
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Cátedras CONACYT-Laboratorio de Genética, Área Académica de Biología, Instituto de Ciencias Básicas e Ingeniería, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Mineral de la Reforma 42184, Mexico
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Instituto de Biología, Tercer Circuito Exterior, S/N Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico
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The Southwest Center of University of Arizona, 1401 E. First St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Unidad Morelia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro No. 8701, Col. Ex Hacienda de San José de la Huerta C.P., Morelia 58190, Mexico
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Jardín Botánico, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Tercer Circuito Exterior, S/N Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Valentina Bernini and Juliano De Dea Lindner
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2390; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102390
Received: 9 September 2021 / Revised: 1 October 2021 / Accepted: 7 October 2021 / Published: 9 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Food Fermentation)
Mexico is one of the main regions of the world where the domestication of numerous edible plant species originated. Its cuisine is considered an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and ferments are important components but have been poorly studied. Traditional fermented foods are still diverse, but some are endangered, requiring actions to promote their preservation. Our study aimed to (1) systematize information on the diversity and cultural history of traditional Mexican fermented beverages (TMFB), (2) document their spatial distribution, and (3) identify the main research trends and topics needed for their conservation and recovery. We reviewed information and constructed a database with biocultural information about TMFB prepared and consumed in Mexico, and we analyzed the information through network approaches and mapped it. We identified 16 TMFB and 143 plant species involved in their production, species of Cactaceae, Asparagaceae, and Poaceae being the most common substrates. Microbiological research has been directed to the potential biotechnological applications of Lactobacillus, Bacillus, and Saccharomyces. We identified a major gap of research on uncommon beverages and poor attention on the cultural and technological aspects. TMFB are dynamic and heterogenous foodscapes that are valuable biocultural reservoirs. Policies should include their promotion for conservation. The main needs of research and policies are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethnobiology; ethnozymology; fermentation; Mesoamerican biocultural heritage; traditional food systems ethnobiology; ethnozymology; fermentation; Mesoamerican biocultural heritage; traditional food systems
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ojeda-Linares, C.; Álvarez-Ríos, G.D.; Figueredo-Urbina, C.J.; Islas, L.A.; Lappe-Oliveras, P.; Nabhan, G.P.; Torres-García, I.; Vallejo, M.; Casas, A. Traditional Fermented Beverages of Mexico: A Biocultural Unseen Foodscape. Foods 2021, 10, 2390. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102390

AMA Style

Ojeda-Linares C, Álvarez-Ríos GD, Figueredo-Urbina CJ, Islas LA, Lappe-Oliveras P, Nabhan GP, Torres-García I, Vallejo M, Casas A. Traditional Fermented Beverages of Mexico: A Biocultural Unseen Foodscape. Foods. 2021; 10(10):2390. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102390

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ojeda-Linares, César, Gonzalo D. Álvarez-Ríos, Carmen Julia Figueredo-Urbina, Luis Alfredo Islas, Patricia Lappe-Oliveras, Gary Paul Nabhan, Ignacio Torres-García, Mariana Vallejo, and Alejandro Casas. 2021. "Traditional Fermented Beverages of Mexico: A Biocultural Unseen Foodscape" Foods 10, no. 10: 2390. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102390

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