Microbial composition of turbid rice wine (Makgeolli) at different stages of production in a real processing line

S. A. Kim, S. J. Yun, S. H. Jeon, N. H. Kim, H. W. Kim, T. J. Cho, S. H. Lee, I. G. Hwang, M. S. Rhee

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14 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to examine for changes in microbial populations during the production of turbid rice wine (also known as Makgeolli) at different production plants and to identify critical points for the control of microbial quality. Samples from raw ingredients (water, rice and wheat flour), materials from different production stages (steamed ingredients, the base of fermentation, primary and secondary fermentation stages at different time points), and the final rice wine products (non-sterilized and sterilized) were analyzed. The microbiological content of samples was assessed by quantitative (aerobic plate counts, lactic acid bacteria, fungi, acetic acid bacteria, coliforms and Bacillus cereus) and qualitative (Escherichia coli and eight foodborne pathogens) analyses. Aerobic plate counts for rice and wheat flour were relatively low (3.1 and 1.9log CFU/g, respectively), as were those for lactic acid bacteria (1.6 and 2.1log CFU/g), and fungi counts (2.2 and 0.7 logCFU/g). All counts increased to 7.8-7.9log CFU/ml in the base of fermentation after the addition of Nuruk and Koji, and these counts were maintained at 8-9log CFU/ml during fermentation. Acetic acid bacteria were not detected in the ingredients, but were isolated from the base of fermentation (1.2-2.8log CFU/ml). Heat sterilization reduced aerobic pate counts significantly from 8.4 to 2.1log CFF/ml, and lactic acid bacteria, fungi and acetic acid bacteria were reduced to non-detectable or negligible levels. Isolated microorganisms were considered as autochthonous to the environment or were artificially introduced with the starter culture. B.cereus was widely distributed throughout the manufacturing process, and may have been introduced from the raw material (present in 100% rice and 41.7% wheat flour samples). B.cereus counts were not significantly affected by sterilization, suggesting that it may exist at low levels as spores in the final products. No coliforms and other pathogens were detected in any samples. The raw materials, the base of fermentation, and sterilization stage were identified as important points for the control of microbial quality during the fermentation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalFood Control
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant ( 12162–MFDS–012 ) from the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety . The authors also wish to thank the Institute of Biomedical Science and Food Safety, Korea University CJ Food Safety Hall, for providing equipment and facilities.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Bacillus cereus
  • Makgeolli
  • Microbial composition
  • Rice wine production
  • Turbid rice wine


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