Red yeast rice
Patáková, Petra Department of Fermentation Chemistry and Bioengineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, Czech Republic.
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The product of rice fermented with red yeast. Red yeast rice, produced by fermentation of red yeast (the filamentous fungus Monascus) on rice grains, has been used traditionally in Asian countries as a food colorant and as a medicinal substance. It is also known as angkak, beni-koji, hong qu, hung-chu, monascus, red koji, red leaven, red rice, zhitai, and xue zhi kang. The first mention of red yeast rice occurred in Li Shih-chun's Pen Chaw Kang Mu, a monograph on Chinese medicine, in 1590. Monascus red yeast rice has been used in Chinese folk medicine for indigestion, dysentery, and anthrax, as well as for relieving bruised muscles, promoting blood circulation, and invigorating spleen function. Current research has shown that red yeast rice contains cholesterol-lowering compounds. In addition, dried red yeast rice is used to color foods such as fishmeal, cheeses, soybean products, alcoholic beverages, and sausages. See also: Cholesterol; Food engineering; Food fermentation; Food manufacturing; Fungi; Rice; Yeast
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