Vietnam gets buzz from tapping into booming mead production

06:00 | 19/03/2021 Science - Technology

(VEN) - The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is conducting a pilot project to produce fermented beverages from honey and cashew nuts as part of its development and application of biotechnology in the processing industry.

vietnam gets buzz from tapping into booming mead production
Fermented honey products

Exploiting available materials

The project, based on two related ministry-level projects, is a collaboration between the Binh Phuoc Honey Bee Joint Stock Company and the Institute of Food Industry. Dr. Truong Huong Lan, a member of the research team, said Vietnam is among the world’s 10 largest honey exporters, ranking second in Asia.

The Vietnam Beekeepers Association reported that Vietnam is estimated to have over 1.5 million herds of bees, producing more than 50,000 tonnes of honey annually. However, the export price of honey has dropped in recent years and domestic honey consumption is low due to the limited processing of honey products, raising concerns about a recession in the beekeeping industry.

Dr. Lan explained that Vietnam wants to capitalize on the renewed popularity of mead, after years of declining production, in countries such as Portugal and the US. The resurgent mead is based on the original fermented alcoholic beverage made from bee honey and water to which fruit juices or herbs and a mixture of trace elements are added. Vietnam, with its wide variety of fruits and nuts, especially cashews, can tap into this new alcoholic beverage trend.

Mastering technology

The project was aimed at completing the technological process of fermented honey to increase the value of goods, efficiently exploiting locally available raw materials (honey and cashew nuts), creating more jobs and deploying production on an industrial scale.

So far, it has selected strains of yeast (S.cerevisiae Thermosacc Dry) suitable for fermenting a mixture of honey and cashew juice, and completed the technological parameters for producing fermented honey with an alcohol content of 12-14 percent and for distilling, storing, and making honey products fermented with an alcohol content of 29 percent.

The technological process and a model for the production of fermented beverages from honey and cashew nuts has been built at the Binh Phuoc Honey Bee Joint Stock Company with a capacity of 300,000 liters a year, and a team of technicians and workers has been trained. “The project has produced 56,950 liters of cashew- fermented honey and 57,509 liters of Bao Gam fermented honey wine using the new production model, yielding high quality products, and meeting current safe food regulations of the Ministry of Health,” Dr. Lan said.

The project has used Vietnam’s available honey and cashew to make high-quality fermented beverages, contributing to the development of the domestic beverage industry.

Quynh Nga