Mahua Alcoholic Beverage Production. Country Liquor Processing Business.
Mahua longifolia is an Indian tropical tree found largely in the central and north Indian plains and forests. It is commonly known as mahua, mahwa or Iluppai.
Mahua is a common tree in deciduous forests of India, quite prominent in states of Andhra Pardesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh., Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Mahua flowers are in dense fascicles near end of the branches having 1.5 cm long fleshy cream coloured corolla tube and are scented. Flowering period of Mahua is from the month of March to May.
It is cultivated in warm and humid regions for its oleaginous seeds (producing between 20 and 200 kg of seeds annually per tree, depending on maturity), flowers and wood. The fat (solid at ambient temperature) is used for the care of the skin, to manufacture soap or detergents, and as a vegetable butter. It can also be used as a fuel oil. The seed cakes obtained after extraction of oil constitute very good fertilizer. The flowers are used to produce an alcoholic drink in tropical India. This drink is also known to affect the animals. Several parts of the tree, including the bark, are used for their medicinal properties. It is considered holy by many tribal communities because of its usefulness
As for liquor, mahua is a sacred drink for adivasis, and one of the world's best when distilled properly. Mahua flowers are rich in sugar (68-72%), in addition to a number of minerals and one of the most important raw materials for alcohol fermentation. The present investigation was for the development of a non-distilled alcoholic beverage from Mahua flowers.
Mahua (Madhuca indica) has been used for liquor production, for centuries, by the tribals. However, wine from mahua flower is not common. Fermentation conditions were standardized for mahua wine preparation. Wine made from different mahua germplasm showed no significant difference in terms of biochemical and sensory quality.
The liquor produced from the flowers is largely colourless, with a whitish tinge and not very strong. The taste is reminiscent of sake with a distinctive smell of mahua flowers. It is inexpensive and the production is largely done in home stills.
Uses of Mahua
The Mahua tree is a very important source of food for the Gonds and other tribes in Central and Western India. They are also used for making alcohol, vinegar, syrups and jams. Mahua oil is largely used in the manufacture of soaps, besides cooking. Mahua flowers and seeds have healing Power and Curative Properties, used in Bronchitis, Rheumatism, Diabetes, Piles, Arthritis, Problem of Breast Milk Secretion, Bleeding Gums, Tonsillitis, Eczema, and Skin Disorders. Mahua flowers are also considered good for cooling, and are used as a tonic and demulcent. However an estimated 90 per cent of the production goes into brewing beverages. In traditional medicine, the flowers are used for a variety of purposes. An extract of the flowers is used for heart disease and to treat excessive vaginal discharge. This is also believed to be good for the eyes, TB, asthma, blood diseases, thirst and burning sensations. The flowers are also believed to be aphrodisiacs and to increase the quantity (but not necessarily the quality) of sperm.
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