A must-see for those who want to spend the hot summer energetically! The charm of fermented foods and rice koji amazake


I'm Nakamura, a staff member of "Kome Dreaming ~GIFT & CRAFT Mita~" (nicknamed Komedori)!

We are experiencing an unbelievable heat wave, how is everyone doing?

I have a strong craving for something cold and smooth to cool me down, so I often eat silken tofu with kimchi and natto on top.

Also, ice cream cools the body too much, so I drink amazake or eat yogurt with honey.

It seems like when it gets hot, I tend to want to eat fermented foods.

This time, I'd like to tell you about my favorite fermented food and the appeal of rice koji amazake, an item that helps you stay energetic during the hot summer!

■ About fermentation and decay

The first thing you need to know is the difference between fermentation and spoilage.


Fermentation is the process by which microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria, koji mold, and yeast transform substances in a way that is beneficial to humans.


On the other hand, spoilage occurs when food is transformed by microorganisms into harmful substances, emits an unpleasant odor, and becomes inedible.


Both are due to the action of microorganisms, but simply put, if a substance changes but is still edible, it's fermentation, and if it's not edible, it's decay!

■Types of microorganisms involved in fermentation

There are three main types of microorganisms that create fermented foods:


"Mold": A microorganism that spreads by extending long, thin cells called hyphae

"Yeast": A spherical or elliptical single-celled microorganism that grows by budding.

"Bacteria": The smallest microorganisms compared to mold and yeast, they grow by cell division.


Among microorganisms, there are five that are useful for fermentation: koji mold, yeast, acetic acid bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, and natto bacteria.


Koji mold is also known as Japan's "national mold" and is a type of mold that is said to grow only in Japanese environments.


Yeast is particularly used in making alcohol and bread.

They feed mainly on sugar, which they break down into carbon dioxide and alcohol.


Acetic acid bacteria are fungi that play an active role in making vinegar.

By adding acetic acid bacteria to the "mash" that is produced when making alcohol, the bacteria ferment and turn into vinegar.


When you hear the word lactic acid bacteria, many people probably think of it as something that is good for your health.

There are two types of lactic acid bacteria: animal-based, which live in animal milk, and plant-based, which live in vegetables, fruits, etc.

Bifidobacteria and Yakult bacteria are also useful for regulating the intestinal environment.


The natto bacteria that make natto, a typical Japanese fermented food, is a type of Bacillus subtilis that lives in straw, dead grass, and fallen leaves.


Fermentation is simply a process that involves a variety of different microorganisms!

It's deep!!

■Fermented foods from around the world!

Now, let's take a look at some fermented foods from around the world!


European fermented foods include sauerkraut in Germany, balsamic vinegar in Italy, and anchovies.


African fermented foods include vanilla beans from Madagascar, cocoa beans from Côte d'Ivoire, and rooibos tea from South Africa.


Examples of fermented foods in Asia include nata de coco from the Philippines, the Thai seasoning fish sauce, stinky tofu from China and Taiwan, and kimchi from Korea.


There are many fermented foods in Japan, too, including miso, soy sauce, natto, and sake.

Other items on offer include pickles such as smoked daikon radish, whiskey, and wine.


Personally, I was surprised to learn that things I eat every day, like vanilla beans and cocoa beans, are fermented foods!


■Why are there fermented foods all over the world?

So why are there so many fermented foods around the world?


First of all, fermented foods have many benefits.


・It can improve the shelf life of food.

・Increases umami and improves taste and aroma

・Various nutrients are produced during the fermentation process, increasing the nutritional value.


There are also many health benefits to be gained from eating fermented foods.


・Since the nutrients are broken down during the fermentation process, they can be absorbed into the body with less strain on the body.

・Lactic acid bacteria and natto bacteria help regulate the intestinal environment, which leads to improved immunity.

・Foods containing antioxidants are expected to have skin-beautifying effects

・B vitamins promote metabolism and isoflavones help prevent arteriosclerosis

・Stress is reduced by GABA (a type of amino acid) which has an anti-stress effect.


I was eating fermented foods every day before I learned about all these benefits!

Maybe I just instinctively felt that it was something I needed.


To stay healthy and energetic, we recommend incorporating fermented foods into your daily meals!

■ The appeal of rice koji, which has been used in Japan for a long time

"Rice koji" is made by planting koji mold, which is also known as Japan's national fungus, on rice and fermenting it.

It is used as an ingredient in miso, mirin, sake, amazake, and other products.


Rice koji amazake, whose origins are said to date back to the Kofun period, has been widely loved by common people since the late Edo period, and even today it is expected to have health and beauty benefits as a kind of "drinkable infusion."


Rice koji amazake is rich in nutrients, containing glucose, which provides direct energy, kojic acid, which inhibits the production of melanin, and nine essential amino acids that cannot be produced in the body.

It also contains B vitamins, which are involved in protein synthesis and lipid metabolism, as well as oligosaccharides and dietary fiber, which regulate the intestinal environment.


These various nutrients help boost your immune system, regulate your intestines, and support healthy skin.


It has also been drunk to prevent summer fatigue since before medical advances, making it the perfect drink for this season!


Komedori carries two types of rice koji amazake.


Fermented Koji Brown Rice "Brown Rice Dreams" 490ml ¥1,469 (tax included)

Sake lees amazake (sake lees x rice koji) 500ml ¥1,393 (tax included)


Children can also drink it, so be sure to pick it up as an item to help the whole family enjoy the hot summer!